Friday, June 27, 2008

A Letter to Holly

I do not know you, but I can't stop thinking about you and wondering what you're going through. All I know of you, is that you shared with a friend of yours, that you were thinking about becoming an atheist. I have been praying for you and feel led to share with you the things that God is speaking to me.

I have to confess my initial reaction to anyone who has anything untrue to say about my God. I feel like a little girl on the playground whose father has just been insulted. You know, "your dad is weird" or "my dad can beat up your dad" or worse "my mom can beat up your dad". A little girl bent on defending her father's name, ready to take on the meanest, baddest, bully in town, even if the bully is twice her size and has taken karate for 5 years.

That's just my initial reaction. Because when I talked to God about a girl who says she is ready to take a stand against Him and denounce His very existence (though that doesn't make Him go away), He softened my heart toward you.

The fact that you are considering taking on the title of "atheist" is a sign that you are searching. I want to encourage you. Not to become an atheist, but to continue searching. It is God Himself who created in you the longing that makes you search for something bigger than this life.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11

He did create you. Psalm 139:13 says, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." You were created. You are not here by some cosmic accident. You were designed. You were made to have a relationship with your creator and He built that longing right in to your heart.

At church, Sunday, our pastor was talking about a few lessons he's learned in life. One of them was that God doesn't have to prove Himself to us. The truth is, He's already given proof of His existence (For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." Romans 1:20), and proven His love for us ("But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8).

I want to urge you to seek Him. Don't test Him. He doesn't owe you any answers. If you need to be able to make sense of Him in order to believe in Him, then don't bother. He says in Isaiah 55:8-9 , "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." I believe in God. I believe that He is holy, just, and perfect. I believe that He is compassionate, and loving. I believe that the Bible is His word and that He does not lie. And there are things that He does, things that He allows, that I will never understand. These things I can't make sense of, do not change who He is. I believe Isaiah 55:8-9.

So, sit down with His word ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He wants to. That's why He wrote the book.

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6

"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' " Acts 17:24-28

Seek Him. He is.

I will keep praying for you, that you will seek Him and come to have a personal relationship with Jesus. And when I pray, I ask God to do what Elijah asked in 1 Kings 18:37 - "Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."