At some point in your life, I know you must have asked yourself “Is there a God?” When you prayed that you would ace a test you didn’t study for and your grade came back accordingly. When you prayed for that really expensive gift you wanted so badly for your birthday, only to get socks. Or something more serious like when a loved one became sick. You prayed everyday and every night that they would get better, that the Lord above, who can do anything can surely take a moment and heal this person you love so dearly. Only to get that phone call in the middle of the night, telling you that they have past away. We have all had moments when our faith was shaken. When prayers appear to go unanswered, and we’re all left with the most important question… Is there a God?
Before he came to Christ, C.S. Lewis, one of the greatest Christian apologist and authors within the last century also had a ‘is there / where is God’ moment in his life. While his wife lay on her death bed, Lewis penned, “Meanwhile, where is God? This is one of the most disquieting symptoms… But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is in vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside.” I
Essentially Lewis is asking, “If there is a God why does he allow suffering, pain, heartache? Why doesn’t he simply show up?”
The logical-apologist in me would answer this question in a maieutic kind of way, by giving you a counter-question such as, “how would we know what joy, pleasure, and love is without feeling the opposite? How could we know what cold is without hot?” My calculated response is not trying to prove something to you. I’m not here to win an argument, but I am trying to move you from a place of is there a God to, “If there is a God… Then what?”
For a while, I too felt what C.S. Lewis felt when he composed A Grief Observed. About the time I was born, my father became physically sick with a terminal illness. He never let that stop him from enjoying life, but over time you can tell he was getting worse. Once the diabetes took over he had, what my mother called the cascade effect. In essence, once his kidney’s failed, his pancreas stopped working, he had multiple heart attacks, he was legally blind, bi-weekly trips to the dialysis center, eventually he became a bi-lateral amputee, and that’s just to name a few problems. We were in the hospital so much that security at the front desk had pre-made name tags for our family. My father wasn’t a bad guy by any stretch of the human moral compass. He was the head deacon at church, he played the piano for our church’s choir, in my 16 years of knowing him he only missed church on two occasions (and we had services almost every day of the week). I know he prayed for healing daily, my mother prayed daily, I prayed daily; only to be met with a dead bolt on God’s door and that phone call on Feb. 17th 2005. This last heart attack, he couldn’t beat.
Everything is possible for one who believes (Mark 9:23); countless Bible verses that talk about healing. Nothing worked. My view toward God went from hopefully optimistic, to anger and abandonment. If there is a God, then what happened?
It wasn’t until years later when my mother wrote a book about this experience and I was old enough to fully comprehend that in fact, my father did experience healing. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally; relationships were restored, countless lives were touched through my father’s life and his legacy. In fact, the doctors told him back in 1998 that he only had six months to live. But God spared him long enough that I was able to have a father until I was 16. How self-centered of me, that I failed to look at all God has done, rather then what he wouldn’t do.
Is there a God? I would simply answer yes. Is God good? I would answer with a resounding yes. Then Why? Why do we all go through so much turmoil in life? The impassioned-apologist in me would answer this question, “because we suffer does not mean that God is absent or deaf to our cries.” In Mary Stevenson’s poem, Footprints in the sand, the author was walking along the beach with the Lord, and in the dark sky, flash backs of her life began to playout. After the last scene she looked back and realized whenever she was at her lowest and saddest times, there were only one set of footprints in the sand, signifying that God abandoned her in her when she needed him the most. When she asked why He would leave in her greatest time of need, God responds, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never… during your trials and testing’s. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you”. In that response, you see that God suffers with us, just as he suffered for us and there is nothing that can separate us from his love.
Should life end.. Should tragedy strike… IF God is true, then death is only the beginning because of what Christ has done on the cross.
“for Christ is not more Christ on the top of the mountain than he is in the bottom of the valley, and he is no less Christ in the storm by midnight than he is in the sunshine by day. Do not begin to measure your safety by your comfort; but measure it by the eternal Word of God.” – Charles Spurgeon
Robert Smith is the quintessential poster child for a jack-of-all-trades. He has a servant’s heart, a warrior’s ambition, and a jokester’s mind. He has often been described as the most reserved, outgoing person anyone has met. Robert is passionate about five things, God, family (especially his wife), acting, basketball, and card games. When he’s not preparing for this next big role, you can typically find him wandering the exhibits of the Smithsonian’s in downtown DC.