Why do I believe? I believe because I do not have a choice. Even if I wanted to stop believing – and sometimes I do – I cannot escape the truth of what has happened to me.
That’s the problem with meeting God.
It’s not just a vague philosophical idea that you can pick up and drop again when it goes out of fashion or convenience. It happens to you. I don’t think Christians are particularly honest about this.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”
A light that smashes into your idea of reality, works its way into the deepest, darkest recesses of your cracked, corrupt little heart until there is nowhere left to hide, and you cannot escape this love that is more real than even your experience of yourself.
Sure, you can rationalise it. Yes, there is evidence for Christianity’s truthfulness that runs off pages of history. But, more than this, its astounding reality bursts out of the manger scene, triumphantly calling from the empty cross on the altar, and I am left overwhelmed in the knowledge that there cannot be anything else.
The broken whisper of ‘I believe, help my unbelief’ is the only response, and I watch Him heal me as He has so many times before.
Willingly, He calls me back again and again.
There is no clinical confession of faith, no Damascus Road, no three steps to being a good Christian. Instead, it is the first flowering of hope in a despairing soul that maybe there is actually a loving God. It is meeting Jesus, who I thought I had always known but had routinely ignored, seeing his life and death and knowing it is for me.
Trust me; I have tried to escape it. I have done my reading and research like a dutiful doubter, mentally joined ‘Sceptics Anonymous’, chased empty arguments and angry epithets round and round my head, but it is like asking a man who has been given the gift of sight to start wearing a blindfold.
Maybe there is something comforting in not having to see things as they really are, to hope that you can fix yourself, to think that you really are ok, but it just isn’t enough anymore. And so I turn back to this thing; this faith; this person, who makes everything hard but also makes everything bearable, wonderful and purposeful.
And so here I am. May you know that He has covered all your days in grace.