Saturday, May 25, 2019

Faith & Storms

Since I had my meltdown the other day, I am feeling better. I did a lot of praying after I finished that crazed, angry, and ranting post. My body started to feel better several hours after my infusion. I thought about deleting that post but decided to leave it up because of this one. Maybe it will help someone else to see the pair of them so they know that even severe "storms" pass over if we just give it time.

The first thought that came into my mind once I started feeling better was a self-rebuking "How dare you?" Seriously, who am I to feel sorry for myself? There are people in the world who would give everything to be at my lowest. I am a spoiled, first-world, insufferable jerk sometimes.

While at infusion, I see people who are dealing with diseases that make mine look like a bad cold. I'm not exaggerating. There was a 20-ish-looking guy in the ward who is fighting something that requires an infusion of meds so powerful that his chair is damn near sealed off from the rest of us - and there are chemo patients there. He was with a sweet-faced child-woman who looked younger than he did. She was wearing a wedding band and that just about broke my heart. Can you even imagine their struggle? Back in Anchorage, one of my doctors was treating children.  Those babies probably have never known a normal childhood but... here's me, drowning in tears for myself instead of praying for those people. Instead of being thankful.

Now that I am thinking more clearly, I don't know where I get the nerve to sit on my pity pot for even five minutes. Yes, I have to deal with a very inconvenient illness and I do wish I could turn back the clock to a time before all this, but I can't. This is called life. Life is not scripted to have something wonderful happen every 30 minutes. Life can be sad and disappointing and a struggle. And this is where my faith comes in.

For people who don't understand why I believe in a real and definite and specific God, I have to tell you that I don't understand your disbelief - or your ambivalence. And if you aren't in the mood to think about your position on the subject, just stop reading right now because I feel another rant coming on.

What does this mean?
I can understand how someone could want to not believe in God. I can understand how someone believes but has decided to rebel against God. What I cannot understand is how someone questions that there is God.

I've had people tell me that my faith is blind and ignorant and born out of fear and tradition. They are wrong. I would have to be willfully ignorant to believe that there is no God.

Some people like to say that they don't believe in what they can't experience with the 5 senses. I always want to remind them of the miracle that we are beings with those senses. Where did it come from that we exist as intricately made as we are?

And, by the way, I do experience God with my senses. If you can't understand how awesome I find the sight and sound of the natural world, then just stop and think about it for a moment. Just the fact that we have those senses - along with the ability to taste and touch and smell - that alone is pretty miraculous.

Dr. Hugh Ross - an astronomer and astrophysicist - explained in the simplest way what is so frightening to a lot of people (especially other scientists) to consider: "If there was a beginning, there is a Beginner."

Dr. Ross is obviously an intelligent man who has studied and theorized about things that I can't even pronounce. But all I need to do is open my eyes and look around to see "that the Heavens testify to the existence of a Creator". I can't even consider the beauty and complexity of life without considering God. There are resources for anyone wondering about the argument for God from different stances.

As advanced as man has become, he cannot create from nothing. He himself is a created being. All his greatness of mind comes from the DNA that he is. All that he discovers is from what already is. Man did not create himself or speak everything else into existence. God did.

When I think of where the first breath of man came from, I think of beginnings. When I think of time and dimensions - seen and unseen - I think of God. I cannot imagine the unfathomable intricacies of all that is woven together to create everything that is without considering God. How can you?

And, of course, there is suffering and grief and pain that we put up as arguments against there being a "just and good" God. What we don't think about is we're not just told: "There is God" period. We are actually given more information. An intelligent person will consider all the information. There's a guy named Lee Strobel who started out as an atheist but used his skills as an investigative journalist to consider the information. His goal was to disprove the existence of God. He came to believe. C.S. Lewis was reared as a Christian (that traditional thing), became an atheist, and came to believe - this time not blindly.

So, I don't need to have as much faith to believe in God as someone does to disbelieve. My faith is to help me understand and/or trust in God through my human condition. As I suffer depression and physical illness, I have to trust that God has not forsaken me.

Belief is easy; faith is hard but they go hand in hand.

Here is a quote (from an unlikely source for a Christian) that I thought about as I was writing this post:
“If you are depressed you are living in the past. 
If you are anxious you are living in the future. 
If you are at peace you are living in the present.” (Lao Tzu)
The Bible puts it this way:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34)

Faith is about living in the present because you know what the endgame is about.