Why do I believe God is true?
… because I talked to him this morning.
Now if that doesn’t make you giggle to yourself or smile – I don’t know what would. It truly is making me smile.
I heard that from Steve Brown in a seminary class in the summer of ’97. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? It wasn’t it – it was wild—in a fabulous sort of way. Steve is the kind of professor who lets auditors take over the class with all kinds of personal sharing time – never mind the questions. And then he’ll also take a smoking break every hour – which I always loved – yes, at the time I was smoking too. But Steve – no one called him Doctor either – is a breed all his own – and this little quip: “But how do you know He’s real? … cuz I talked to him this morning” is from him. I stole it. He steals everyone’s stuff – so all’s fair in love and thievery, eh? I stole it because I love it and it indeed resonates with my soul.
Every morning – ok most mornings – I simply talk to God – write him actually – I just don’t think I could sustain a conversation for over a minute if I didn’t write it out. That ADHD diagnosis that everyone has in this generation—we had it too—in the sixties. Just undiagnosed and chalked up to “needs to develop self control” on a report card.
But here’s the thing—I think—I know he’s true (of if you prefer, ‘real’) because he has revealed himself to me – time and time again. Surely many passages in the Bible would also back me up – I should indeed try to find some and list them all one day.
But, I don’t have to go far to find his presence – he found me in the middle of the smallest town (or one of them) in Pennsylvania at the age of 21 or 22 (it was a year long process). He found my friend Meghan in Italy, of all places! We recently shared our rescue stories over caribou coffee.
Remembering that time—in Pennsylvania—this verse rings true – Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? … If I make my bed in the depths you are there.
He indeed was there—even though it took me a while to realize it.
And to realize that “He rescued me because he delighted in me.” Now that’s tombstone worthy. Feeling and experiencing that kind of rescue and grace and love – yeah, it’s real all right.
Steve also said this in that class — which was called Communicating to Post Moderns —“yeah, but don’t you wish it were true?” He said we need to be representing the gospel of Christ in such a way that even if people couldn’t believe it and didn’t resonate with them in that moment, they should come away from the conversation actually wishing it were true. Ah, that too has always stuck with me – because that is indeed the kind of rescue that took place in my own soul. I wished he were true – I realized the joy I had lost out on—because I chose to go my own path—which led to a very miserable life.
So, that’s only one of the reasons why I believe God is True and Real … cuz I just finished talking to him a moment ago. Perhaps more reasons will follow, but for now, I want to close this post with something from Tim Keller that I just love:
“During a dark time in her life, a woman in my congregation complained that she had prayed over and over, ‘God help me find you’ but had gotten nowhere. A Christian friend suggested to her that she might change her prayer to, ‘God come and find me. After all you are the Good Shepherd who goes looking for the lost sheep.’ She concluded when she was recounting this to me, ‘the only reason I can tell you this story is – he did.’” (Reason for God, p. 251)