|I have to admit that my belief
began in childhood. My mother took for granted that God exists and that
Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. I took that belief in along with other
childhood assumptions. She read the Bible to us and I found the stories
fascinating. The people seemed real to me. No one I knew questioned the
existence of God or the authenticity of the Bible---at least until I got
to high school (1957-1961).
The Theory of Evolution was taught,
and yes, the textbook referred to it as a “theory” not a proven fact. I
gave it some consideration as a teenager, but discarded that theory because
I read material that defended the biblical record and presented the flaws
the theory had. My beliefs had not really been tested yet.
I went on to a small private Bible
college after high school. I studied the Bible through the particular doctrinal
stance of that denomination. I was exposed to some Bible criticism and
apologetics. But my faith had still not been tested.
I married and had a child. My
husband and I attended church. We prayed and studied the Bible. He was
laid off from his job and we moved. Still my faith had not been tested.
He lost two more jobs and God
continued to provide our needs even through a four month long unemployment.
We struggled to make ends meet, but we never went hungry or homeless. God
proved himself trustworthy through economic and health crises. Prayers
were answered. Needs were met. But the big test was yet to come.
What was my big test?
It came from people, church people---disappointment
and disillusionment with Christians, leaders and members, hit me really
hard. Through ten years of anger and an unforgiving attitude, I questioned
everything I had ever been taught. After all, hadn’t Jesus said that we
would know his disciples by the love they had for one another? Okay, you
have a right to wonder, “Where was my love?” God was revealing something
to me. I had never really seen my need for a savior. I was just as lacking
in God’s love as the few people who had done me wrong.
Through my searching for truth,
nothing I found disproved the existence of God or the authenticity of the
Bible or the reality that Jesus really did exist, really did die, and really
was resurrected to life. But that still isn’t the reason I continue to
I believe because when I confessed
my sin before God from deep inside of me, he forgave me. I know he forgave
me because he took away from me all that anger and bitterness that I had
been carrying around with me for years. In a moment’s time it was just
gone. I didn’t will-power it away. He removed it. I know Jesus is alive!