The older I get, the more it feels like this story – the story of a loving God who created the world by hand and sent his only son to die for it and rise from the dead all so that we can join him in heaven after we die – is just too good to be true. I wake up every morning to a “new” news story in my email inbox about another mass shooting, natural disaster, virus outbreak, terrorist attack, or war starting up in the Middle East and it’s difficult to not feel lost. To not question why our world sucks so much if it was made by a God who cannot show hate, only love. It doesn’t make any sense… but you know what I’ve come to realize? It’s not always supposed to.
Faith is believing to be true what cannot be seen. And it’s a beautiful thing to believe wholeheartedly in something that gives you hope. There’s a reason FAITH is the foundation of the Christian belief system (and countless religions across the world). Because even as the world shouts at us that we’re stupid for clinging to something that doesn’t always make logical sense, we still hold fast to our faith because it gives us a reason for being, for working, for living, because we believe anything we do and the lives we touch matter not only today but forever! Yet at the same time, the world is falling apart, people are sick and hurting, and the scientific community moves closer and closer to “proving” that everything around us can come from absolutely nothing, telling us we’re so, so wrong.
And despite that… every single piece of information I have learned in any science class ever has pointed me straight back to God. Things are too orderly and too “perfect” for me to believe that it all just happened this way. I personally think it takes more faith to believe that billions of years of evolution brought us to this point! But when you look at all that’s happening in the world, it’s easy to ask… how could we all have come from a loving God when humans are often so full of hate?
This discussion can go so much deeper than a measly blog post, and it’s rooted in somewhat complicated (and sometimes differing) theological thought. But the long story short is that God is light, and the absence of light is darkness. God is love, and the rejection of his love is sin. God is holiness and by that nature, anything in his presence must be holy, too. When sin entered the world, it was a direct result of someone with free will deliberately choosing to depart from God’s ways. And now we have a broken world: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned…” (Romans 5:12).
So this is what I remind myself of when I open my email inbox every morning to a constant reminder of the world’s seemingly never-ending series of unfortunate events. When I’m faced with something that shakes my faith and makes me question if this story of a loving God is real life and not just a fairytale. I’m reminded that there are over 100 billion stars in our universe and they’re all still being formed because our universe is ever expanding still even after thousands of years of history, wars, the rise and fall of hundreds of earthly kingdoms… the results of God’s first words of creation – “let there be light” – still carry on. And when I look up at the night sky, I see nothing but the glory and majesty and just pure awesomeness of a God too big and too great and too powerful for me to even begin to comprehend. I may be living in a broken world, but there are reminders all around me every day of a better world to come.
Anything that happens to me in this life is just a part of my story on Earth. Whether that’s tragedy or triumph, victory or loss, health or sickness, success or failure… if I remember that the reason for my existence is to reflect this beauty and this glory I see in the night sky to the broken and hurting world around me… I know that I can face anything in this life and be okay. And I know that because…
This is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you…”
Thanks Micaela of Whatever Is Lovely Photography for this photo!