This week I was challenged with the task of seeking to understand a person’s belief or unbelief in the existence of God. I was curious to see if there were any similarities in someone else’s story and how they might relate to my own journey in coming to Christ.
As I was thinking and praying of whom I could have this potentially difficult conversation with my phone rang and it was my friend Alex. Unbeknownst to Alex, I kindly asked him if he would be interested in sharing his story about his belief in God with me, to which he graciously accepted.
His story includes both vast differences and some similarities to my own story. Comparing and sharing these stories with you is the purpose of my blog today.
Similarly for both Alex and I, it was in our teens where we began to experience distance from the norms of our families in our respective lives. Alex began to question the existence of God and confessed at one point not to believe in God at all. I too began distancing myself from what would have been the equivalent to discrediting God from my family’s worldview – Hockey. I know there is no comparison between the two, however; it had a detrimental impact on my family, my relationship with them and my behaviour thereafter. What’s common in this story is that we both called upon the name of the Lord in a time of distancing; Alex confessed to not believe in the God he found himself praying to, and I, not even knowing God, would write notes (as if praying to God) and would put them on my window ledge facing outwards towards the heavens.
Interestingly, I learned this week that “statistics consistently demonstrate that the vast majority of the world’s population believes that a God does exist”. I believe this is what we are seeing in our story; deep inside of our souls, we’ve known God has existed; yet we were still searching for more. This is evident in how we as individuals frame our case for our fundamental beliefs in anything. It’s quite simple actually – when asked a question, in this case “Does God exist?” we look for credible evidence and further investigate it to assist us in forming a belief in support of a reasonable conclusion. As I’ve stated previously, the implications of acknowledging Jesus as Lord are both frightening and yet beautiful, and as such Steiger states, “we tend to demand a greater level of certainty when it comes to the topic of God’s existence than we would for anything else”. As you will see in the conclusion to our story below, this is precisely the path Alex and I were on.
At this time in his life, Alex began asking some difficult questions to which he could find no perfect answers until he went to University and encountered a group of young Christians that were able to help guide him. While feeling satisfied, he continued looking for any inconsistencies he could find but kept coming up short. It was in these relationships where he truly started to trust God. In my version of this story, I was going through a difficult transition in life and the scriptures found their way into my hands. The commonality here is that Alex was beginning to build sound evidence through others he trusted and it pointed to God as the Alpha and Omega, and I was gathering evidence that pointed to our Creator, Saviour and Great Redeemer. After much deliberation, questioning, conversations, guidance, and prayer from others surrounding us this story ends with both of us accepting Jesus, and the beginning of life everlasting.
This story then begs then question: How much certainty do you need before you believe?