I got a comment from someone recently and he said that he could no longer read the Bible. His reason was that he had cried out, prayed, and the God who was supposed to be near to the brokenhearted was nowhere to be found. I know where he’s coming from. I’m in the same boat.
I’m in a state of questioning my faith. Is God even real? Is this Bible that I’ve been taught all my life legit? Maybe I’m just brainwashed. In the midst of my deep pain in life right now, God seems absent. It’s easy for me to be angry. Why can’t God make himself more real? Why is He so elusive?
I have no real answers to those questions and I’m not here to preach a sermon. I say this because I’m struggling immensely with this thing called “faith”. What if everything I’ve ever known has been a giant lie?
The other day, after a long week of high stress in my marriage and with my teen daughter, I tried to turn to the Bible to help me. It felt like empty words. Stories I had heard from when I was little. How could they apply to me today? How could they heal my heart that felt like a failure as a mom? These so called “life-changing words” didn’t seem to do much for me. Was I supposed to find some hidden meaning between the lines? Were the words supposed to change my thinking? What exactly is so life-changing about the Bible anyway?
My heart grows skeptical these days.
I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. When I spit my toothpaste in the sink, there in the sink sat a little Asian Beetle. You know, the one that kind of looks like a lady bug. Initially I decided to flush the thing down the drain. They bite and I personally hate them. How one survived through our cold winters is beyond me, but it wasn’t taking up space in our house, that’s for sure. So I rinsed him down the sink. The little guy grabbed on to the metal drain and held on for dear life. At one point, it started swimming but managed to grip on to the sink and hold on. It wasn’t going down easy.
Being the empathetic person that I am, I felt bad for the little bug. I thought about how we all are just trying to hold on. We grip on to something, hoping we’ll survive. We struggle, we swim, we try to keep our head above the water and it might seem like we are going to drown, but then we hold on to anything that will keep us going. And then sometimes, we get a break and we are able to go back to “normal” and function and keep going.
Maybe I’m making too much of some little bug, but I sat and stared at it, wondering about my own life. Do you think maybe God speaks to us through these means? Am I being too mystical? In that moment, I kind of felt like God was saying something to me. Maybe it’s the insane imaginations of my own brain and wanting to hold on to God, even through some tiny bug in my bathroom, but it meant something to me. Aren’t we all just reaching for something to save us?
Truth be told, I don’t want to be angry at God. I don’t want to have no purpose in this life. I want it to mean something at the end. I can’t fathom losing my faith. Maybe that makes me insane. Maybe that makes me the perfect candidate for being duped by religion.
But I guess I’d rather believe in SOMETHING even if it’s wrong than have no belief, no reason to live.
If all the loss, the grief, the pain, and the agony is for absolutely nothing–then where does that leave me? All the tears, all the sorrows in my life were just meaningless? What if all this stuff doesn’t really build character? If holding on to Christ and trying to live as He did has no purpose, then what do I do now? All the acts of kindness, the moments no one saw–they are just gone and have no eternal purpose or meaning? Then why would I want to keep going at all? Why would I even try?
I can’t seem to wrap my head around a world that was created in chaos and that all my pain and sorrow went unseen and unheard. That all the prayers I ever prayed were just the ramblings of a mad woman. All the prayers my mom prayed for me were lost in space. And all I’ve ever thought and known, all I’ve ever read in the bible, all my beliefs, were just stories meant to manipulate me into being a “better person”. I just can’t buy that.
Maybe the Bible doesn’t make sense to me right now. At one point, it did. But I’m realizing I don’t really know who I am, who God is. I only know what other people have taught me. When that falls apart and crumbles, you are left at the most basic level of belief.
Why am I here?
Is God real?
Does He love me?
I don’t know why I’m here, but I do know that God is real. Maybe it’s only a small bit of belief, but it’s something. And I’d rather have that small “something” than have absolutely nothing.
When people aren’t there to fill in all those answers, to play “God” in a sense, then you are left to ponder the deepest parts of yourself. That’s not a bad place to be, but it is a lonely one. If God is real, then what does that mean for me? If God isn’t real, then what does that mean for me?
Those two questions are haunting because if God is real, how will that affect how I live and move and act? If God isn’t real, then what purpose do any of us have here?
Left to my own purposes, I’m not sure I can believe there is no God. But I’m not sure I believe in the God that I grew up with either. I think it’s my journey in life to find out who God is and what He means to my life. It starts with believing that He is real and if that’s wrong, I’d rather be wrong than live my life angry and resentful.
As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)