Sunday, September 2, 2012
People often say that they'd believe in God if he would only show them a sign or appear to them. My response is that every day is filled with all sorts of miracles of creation starting with each new sunrise. Almost every recorded meeting of mortal man and a spiritual being begins with the words, "Fear not", as the experience will apparently scare the daylights out of you! I think I'll pass, thank you. And our creator actually did appear to thousands of people and even walked among us to tell us all we need to know for three years. But we killed him because the people were looking for a warrior king to free a nation instead of a peaceful savior for all mankind. Ultimately, we need that proverbial leap of faith from within to know Him.
There’s a story about a man wishing to know God by some sign. When he asks God to speak to him, a nightingale sings and distant thunder rolls across the land, but the man is wearing ear buds as he jogs and doesn’t hear. When he demands to see God, the morning star reflects in the sparkling waters just before a brilliant sunrise, but the man is running to the west and doesn’t see. So the man shouts to God for a miracle and a colorful flower unfurls its delicate petals while a child is born, but the man keeps his focus on running straight ahead and doesn’t notice. Then the man cried out in hopeless despair that life is meaningless and without purpose, and God revealed a book telling of the sacrifice of the Son he sent to guide him, always be with him, forgive him, and prepare an eternal home for him, but he doesn’t stop long enough to pick it up and read it. The man received many blessings that day, but he didn’t devote the time or attention that was necessary to recognize and receive them as he raced through his life.
We do live in a broken world with lots of trials and challenges along the way. And we can take heart in understanding that God has promised to be with us at all times, especially when invited. God doesn’t cause evil as much as he manages it and is always capable of helping us to bring good out of it. Just as darkness is the absence of light, so too evil fills the void in the absence of goodness. So those speed bumps on the road of life can actually prepare us for the major roadblocks that lie ahead. Every one that we successfully negotiate strengthens our character and faith for an eternal life after this mortal life. And guess what? Many times after we have awakened to a bright and clear morning after facing one of life’s severe storms, we actually find that we are the sign and blessing for others!