It doesn’t take much these days to start an argument. Recently, I had a tweet explode and all I said was I wanted to go to church to give back to a God I believe in. You can join the discussion here.
It was a simple comment. Truthful, and my American right to do so. THOUSANDS of strangers reacted and hundreds attacked my statement telling me I was a fool. I ignored most of those comments because even as I have a right to my opinion, they also have a right to theirs. But arguing with strangers online does nothing but prove their ignorant opinion of me. It is indeed a foolish practice.
I responded to only a few comments and those were the ones that were genuine questions of why I believe in something I cannot prove. I believe that if any one ever asks that question of a Christian we should always be ready to answer gently. 1 Peter 3:15
After I answered those strangers’ questions, I wondered if I could answer them in real life. After all, there is a pretty little delete button I can use if my words don’t quite come out right on Twitter. Plus, there’s the comfortable anonymous factor. So I started thinking of my reasons for the hope that I have. The hope that no one can take from me and is undisputed among strangers and friends alike.
Why did I decide to follow Jesus and not look back?
I mess up. A lot.
Many non-Christians have a hard time understanding how anyone could be so devoted to someone or something that has a strict list of Thou Shalt Not’s. They seem to have this image of God where He is sitting in Heaven just waiting for us to screw up so He can punish us. This is so not at all who God is.
He’s amazingly full of it! It’s when God gives us what we don’t deserve. Forgiveness. Love. Eternal life. And He never runs out of grace or allows it to stop washing over us. No matter what! My pastor painted such a beautiful picture of grace in a sermon last year. Like waves in the ocean, grace is constantly flowing. It meets us exactly where we are on the shoreline washing over us if we are willing.
As part of my Twitter attack one stranger accused me of living a perfect life, so “how convenient” it must be to have God on my side. The perfect one.
I will never understand why Christians are accused of assuming things about others but non-believers can get away with assuming we think we got it all together.
If I had it all together I wouldn’t need Jesus!
Life is hard. Pray harder.
Did you read my last post? Last year was a doozy of a heartbreak year. So many challenges came upon me and my family last year. I found myself hiding away a lot. I cried a lot. And I prayed a lot.
There are no doubts in my mind that those tears during those hidden moments and the prayers I prayed were not ignored. I have so many incidences that I shared with only my closest friends where I knew my prayers fell on God’s expectant ear.
When there simply wasn’t the money to pay the bills, God sent unexpected refund checks in the mail. (From our health insurance company no less!)
When drought threatened the foundation of our home. God sent the rains to repair it.
When my heart felt like it just couldn’t hurt any more, God whispered reminders of His love and restored what I thought I lost.
Those are just a few examples. I found so much rest in Him through a year filled with one trial after another. Matthew 11:28-30
One of my online accusers wanted me to provide ’empirical’ evidence that God exists. To me, a Christian, the evidence is obvious! Go back and reread the last few paragraphs! The evidence is only revealed to me through my faith in prayer. Anyone who has no faith in prayer could never be convinced ’empirically.’ It’s not worth arguing over, but certainly worth explaining at least once why I believe in the power of prayer.
I’m a hopeless romantic.
I love a good love story. What could be more romantic than a helpless girl rescued by a valiant savior? Ok, maybe valiant is a little sacrilegious when describing a humble Christ. But He certainly was brave, courageous and unrelenting in His love for me. And for you.
That’s the kind of person I want to know. That’s the kind of person I want on my side. That’s the kind of person I can stand up for and not back down.
Christianity is the ultimate love story. It’s not a rigorous list of do’s and don’ts. It’s not a check the box kind of deal or a yes or no black and white answer.
It’s a relationship with the One who created imperfect me. It’s a love story between two people who strive to know one another brilliantly. And the way I do that is to read the Word and be still to know He is God and wait for Him to nudge me in the right direction.
Maybe that’s hard to understand because you can’t really see or feel God. Or maybe it’s hard to understand because relationships just never really work out for you. Maybe it seems foolish to put my faith and trust into something I can’t ‘prove.’
That’s really ok. Because it’s not about you and me. It’s about the love of my created life and the story He writes for me to share with you in the hopes that maybe one day you’ll fall in love too.