It’s a scary world we live in. Having been a scientist all my life, raised in a family of scientists, the concept of God was a touchy subject. My father is a known agnostic, leaning towards atheism, many of my coworkers were non-committal, not to be confused with non-denominational…they didn’t outwardly announce that they were agnostic, but they practiced no obvious faith or belief structure-except, that, of their own self abilities.
The problem with many scientists is that God is a rather intangible subject. Prove it!! Wow…how do we do that? The existence of God is a bit hard to prove. After all, when one prays, and a prayer is answered, the non-believer tends to just blame it on, luck, karma, or some other intangible thing. Yet a believer, knows that there is no other explanation. When one has simply asked, and thus it was delivered, a believer knows that it was by the presence of our Lord above, through His grace and love for us, that those prayers were answered.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24 NIV)
The problem with prosperity is that it often belittles a need for faith. We start to think that we are the ways the means and the end to meeting our own needs and wants. After all, it was our job that got us that $400K house, the beamer in our driveway, and the fancy food on the table. And that job that we have was earned by our fancy diploma and our own hard work.
“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24 NIV)
We tend to forget that our parents may have paid for our education, and that fancy job that we have may have had some outside influence to get it for us. Without the job, we wouldn’t have the house, the cars or the fancy food. Yet, many blame their success upon their own achievements.
BAD THINGS HAPPEN…
A believer starts to realize that there were many steps along the way that might have impacted their life in other directions. A head injury perhaps in college; a special needs child born as a surprise; the death or divorce of a loved one: all these things can drastically alter our future radically-so that suddenly despite the fancy diploma, we have a small place to live, drive a car that has seen better days, and scrape by often on a day by day basis. And yes, even these small things are often a huge sign of success when compared to parts of the world where even these things are often unreachable-living in a house, driving a car, and food in the cupboard, even if its mac and cheese or hamburger helper.
Yet it is in those tighter moments, where we begin to gain a sense of a bigger picture. A true belief in the concept of our Father in heaven-and can start to feel His grace and love for us. We may not have the fancy house, cars, or life style, but we start to sense His presence around us. Perhaps this is why it is so tough for the rich man to go to heaven-he stops acknowledging where his success is coming from. As many know, sometimes, it is hard to find two pennies to rub together, and those two pennies don’t buy very much. How to pay the bills? How to make ends meet? How to make it until tomorrow, next week, or next month?
WORRIES TOWARDS AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE…
A dear friend expressed to me the other day a concern for the political atmosphere that we are experiencing. I confess I watch little news. I find it just as depressing as I did as a youth growing up-for you see, my father, watched it religiously. Now this was the man who disavowed a knowledge or relationship for God. Therefore, knowing what was going on in the news was tantamount in order to figure out whether we would have a planet or not the next day. Well, my friend wants to start preparing for the future. His thought is to buy some extra food-anticipating a scenario much like the movie, ” Red Dawn” where the bad guys come and invades us, and we lose all that we have come to depend upon-our utilities, our food supply, our jobs. My answer must have been perceived as rather light hearted. My response was, “well, it’s time to pray more.” For, you see, as a woman of faith who has dealt with many harsh blows in her life, I know which side my bread is buttered on. I know that, as long as I am still breathing, the sun will rise tomorrow. These challenges that we may face, are surmountable. We may not like how we have to deal with them, but scripture reminds us many times, “This too shall pass.”
When we forget to talk to our father in Heaven, and instead, we start to live in fear of the unknown, we lose a part of who we are, and let the dark one start to take away from us the joys that our Lord has indeed given us. Perhaps those trials bring us closer to our family. They definitely bring us closer to our Lord if we let it.
And the reality of the situation is that no matter how much we “prepare,” those food stores could be taken, a flood could occur, or other even worse tragedy happen. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t plan for the future, and take some precautions for our family, whatever we feel called to do. However, we need to understand that –like in those types of movies, there are factors that we can’t even imagine that will lay havoc with our best laid plans outside of faith of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is with this faith that even the worst things that can happen allow us to walk through those dark times feeling the presence of God, and not feeling alone in our trials.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV)
Can you imagine not feeling the presence of Jesus Christ in your life? Some say that this is the true hell- not feeling the presence of God. I know…even in the darkest of nights, I am not alone.