“But how can you prove it?” he asks, his eyes looking intently into mine. “How can you prove that these stories, this God are true?”
I look beyond him, to the cascading waves along the beach. This isn’t the first conversation I’ve had with someone about faith. This isn’t the first time I’ve been challenged, questioned, put in the (wonderful but difficult) place of explaining the unexplainable.
The water strikes against the sand at a furious pace. I watch the foam lick the shore then get swallowed back into the ocean again, cyclical, powerful.
The thing is, I can’t prove, with absolute experienced certainty, that the Bible stories are true. I can’t go back in time and walk alongside the prophets, the disciples, the people who lived during Jesus’ time and watch Him heal the sick and give sight to the blind. I can’t determine, for certain, whether Jonah was swallowed by the whale or if Moses really did stand before a burning bush. I can’t act like I’ve seen what I haven’t.
But, yet, I still know.
I know that I am surrounded by millions upon millions of people—imperfect, beautiful people with different genetic makeups and thoughts and feelings and hearts. I know that there is an ocean, a tide, a sun, a moon, a galaxy, science, atoms and cells. And even if we try to use science, even if we try to go back and explain how particles shifted together to create incredible things—I have to wonder where those particles came from?
Where did those tiny pieces of life begin if not created by a God?
And then I think of the miracles I’ve seen, of the incredible faith the people in my life have shown. I think of the near-accidents I’ve avoided, the people I’ve prayed for and alongside who suddenly gained health and healing that was impossible. I think of the stories that have survived generations and generations, filling people with truth and light. I think of the way a perfect being was sacrificed, and how, here we are, thousands upon thousands of years later, standing firm in these promises of a life beyond this earthly one.
No, I can’t stand here and say I’ve touched God. But I’ve touched a hand in prayer that made a current run through my skin. I’ve felt the presence of the Lord’s spirit while singing in church. I’ve watched people come together in love and joy. I’ve seen forgiveness and hope.
I’ve watched prayers get answered. I’ve listened to the faith of the Biblical times and how wild and radical they were to believe what was so out of the norm for their time. I’ve had encouragement when I’ve lost all hope and confidence when I could barely lift my head.
I’ve been reborn into a world that is far less hopeless, far less evil because of my faith.
And in a world so filled with sin and pain, desperation and loneliness, escapism and fear, I am not afraid to believe in something bigger than me. Something beautiful and life-changing and fulfilling and real.
In a world of doubt, I am not afraid to believe. I am not afraid to stand firm on the hope my Father has given me. I am not afraid to trust that He is with me, with us, wherever we wander.
In a world of doubt, I am not afraid to listen. To His truth, to the sermons that preach His goodness, to the stories of the Bible that tell of miracle after miracle, giving me hope.
It’s so easy to believe in the things you can see, in the tangible, in what lies right in front of your face. But true faith is trusting in what you cannot see, in reaching forward for the things just outside of your grasp.
True faith is choosing to accept that there are things you might not understand, might not be able to witness, or go back in time and experience, but that doesn’t make them any less real.
And so I will stand firm in the stories I’ve heard, in the experiences I’ve had, in the truth that has defined who I am and what I stand for, no matter what uncertainty tries to creep into my mind.
This is not a blind faith, but an obedient faith. And for my Father, my Savior, my Healer, I will stand and not waver.
There are far too many things of this world that are impermanent, that are broken, that are flawed and hopeless. My God is not one of them.