Thursday, August 18, 2011

Truth, fairy tales, belief, and unbelief

She asked me if I ever doubted the existence of God. “Yes, I often have doubts,” I admitted, “but I prefer belief to unbelief.”

She said, “But I just don’t get it—the whole thing about Adam and Eve, the predictions about the birth of Jesus, his miracles, his death on the cross to save us, and his rising from the dead. Doesn’t it seem like a fairy tale to you?”

No, it’s not a fairy tale. To me, the difference between truth and a fairy tale is that the truth changes your life and a fairy tale is just a story. So whenever I have doubts I remind myself of the passage from the Gospel of Mark where a father asks if Jesus can cast out a demon from his son:

And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)

Although this father’s natural inclination was to be a skeptic, he saw that indeed Jesus was able to heal his afflicted son. His skepticism dissolved when he saw tangible results of the existence of God.

Like the troubled father, I see tangible results of the existence of God. The most powerful result I see is when lives are changed because of belief—the lives of others and my own life. Belief gives my life focus, a grounding that I could never find in unbelief. And because of that belief I know all things are possible.

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