Why believe?

I have been thinking recently about why I am a Christian. When I think about the fact that I believe in ‘God’, some deity that I can’t see, who created the world, the universe and everyone in it, it seems idiotic in the extreme.

I mean, take a look at the bible, why is it more logical to me that God impregnated an unmarried teenager so that his son could become man and save the world, than a teenage girl started the most powerful story in history to cover up an indiscretion?

It really doesn’t make sense! I once took a friend from uni on an alpha course. I must confess, it was not one of the better run alpha courses I have been on, and the answers to all questions were ‘you have just got to have faith’ and ‘because it says so in the bible’. The fact is, that whilst these answers are (in my humble opinion) the result of very little thinking for oneself, they are in fact a fairly accurate description of why so many believe what they believe.

Yes, it is unhelpful for those searching for answers, and I believe that there are better ways of putting these answers in a way that someone with neither faith, nor knowledge or commitment to the bible might be able to relate to, these two answers are a neat summary of how I think.

There is a DC Talk song with lyrics that say ‘I haven’t seen the wind, I have seen the effects of the wind but I haven’t seen the wind’. These words always struck me. I am quite a logical kind of person (some would argue and this only applies in certain lines of my thinking!), and Christianity makes very little sense to me.

So we come back to the question, why believe? My answer comes in two places. Firstly – the personal one. I guess that everyone’s experience of God and the spirit are unique. If I believe God made me (which I do) then it follows I believe he knows us all and how best to speak to us.

Today, I hit a point of darkness. Going beyond self pity, beyond hope, into black despair. It’s a frightening place to be and feeling entirely alone I whispered ‘God save me, come save me’ over and over with tears streaming down my face. I felt a tangible change in the air around me. Someone sat beside me. Quietly, gently. Just there, no more.

I didn’t need words of comfort, and whilst this didn’t take away all the pain and anguish it quieted the fear. I felt peace in my anxiety. Calm in the hurt and knew that whilst right now blackness is all that is ahead, it is not all that there is.

The second reason I believe is because when I look around I see his hand. The God that I have experienced, on occasions such as the one described above, is a God of beauty and compassion. This is the hand I see in the art of creation. Looking around I see beauty that brings peace, I see power that says my God is bigger than all I have and will experience. I see strength that defies the idea that anything is bigger than my God, and most importantly I see joy and love. A God who will spend time creating the most complex and weird creatures imaginable, full of colour and life is a God who doesn’t just create for the sake of it. There is purpose to it.

This is why I believe. These two reasons. I don’t know why stuff happens, or why some people are healed and others not. I don’t know why life is so hard. I don’t know how to find peace in this world and I don’t know how I will cope going forward on days like today. I do know he knows and he plans and he hopes.

My brain is a mush today. I guess I am posting this because I want to work out for myself why I believe. It is a strange thing to believe in something so strange but it goes so deep to my core that no darkness will ever tear me from his grasp.

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