Things I Know to Be True: Some thoughts at 3:00

I woke up at 3:00 am thinking of you. You, the one struggling to believe or maybe even refusing to believe at all. I think of you all the time, actually. I was also thinking of myself and my own struggles to believe, my desires to have all the answers to tell you so you will understand, so you will know why I choose to follow a faith that so many despise.

The problem is, I don’t have all the answers. Most of the time I don’t even know what to say because I’m afraid of saying it wrong, of messing it up somehow. And, honestly, I’m afraid of not being loved. 

But the thing is, I have this hope, and I’m a hypocrite if I don’t share it. I’m a liar if I say I follow Christ with all my heart and then refuse to talk about Him. If He really is my everything, I should be willing to say so. 

And so, I woke up at 3 thinking about why I believe and how to talk about it in a way that makes sense. And I sat there thinking about my time at the ocean recently, watching the waves hurling themselves onto the beach ceaselessly, without fail. The power of that water. The comfort of its roar. The sun gliding its way into the day like a faithful promise. The millions of shells scattered at my feet, a riotous reflection of a deep living world I cannot see. These things cannot have just happened. They speak of Him. They shout His name.

The happy river otter poking its head above the water to stare at me curiously before scampering away. The slow, careful tortoise grinning at me as it chomped its leaves. The sea snail cautiously sticking two tentacle eyes from its shell to peer at me. The dolphins playing in the waves. How can we look at these hilarious, miraculous creatures and not see a masterful creator, a joyful inventor of life?

But more. The story of a man tortured and tormented by people who hate him, praying for his attackers. The family living in danger and poverty in a country where it is illegal to profess Christ, who nevertheless give away what little they have and never stop talking about their Savior. The woman lying in bed with unbearable pain, showering love on everyone who comes to see her, so they leave feeling they received a gift. The abused who forgives her abusers. The suffering who simply serve others. The grieving who look for their God. 

Even now I don’t have the “right” words to articulate my faith or the hope I so desperately want you to have. I don’t have the eloquent argument to win over every cynic. I don’t have the hard, clean answer to every tormented why. 

I do have a Jesus who gave up everything for me (and you). Who endured the worst kind of agony and made the trip to hell on our behalf. Who loves me (and you) with the fiercest love. I have His Word which is my life, my breath, my everything.

I have stories. Mine and millions of others. Stories of people who have found God in darkest places, found hope in impossible pain. The evidence is in the lives lived, the grace given, the love extended beyond all reason. He is a God of reason, and all the beauty and order in our world points to this. But He is too a God of story, a God of people, a God of experience. And you can find Him, but only if you really want to. Only if you open yourself to Him. Only if you let go of a lot of other things that might seem more important or more real.

But nothing is more important. Nothing is more real, and nothing matters but knowing Him. I don’t yet understand this all the way, but I am learning to, and that is the joy. I understand the whys and the anger and the pain you carry. I get why you want to scream and rage and demand answers and solutions.

All I can tell you is that I have seen a higher way, and I want it. I have seen a God of miracles, a God who is speaking if we will listen, a God who loves, a God who brings hope in hard times and joy in dark places. There is purpose in the pain and comfort in the night. There is a way to live that brings peace. And this is all I want for you: to know this peace. To know Him. 

I have been guilty of being silent because I don’t have all the answers. But I have the answer that matters, and whether you accept it is up to you. He IS the way. He IS the truth. He IS the life. I need this every day, and every day He is enough. 

I am feeling my way along and floundering with all the rest. I am a mess. But He is with me in the mess, making new things, creating beauty, crafting something worthwhile from my pain. He is weaving me into His story. 

We are infinitely loved. I want you to know this. I believe it. And yes, I am praying for you. With all my heart that you will reach out your hand to take hold of His. And I am filled with joy to talk about Him anytime. I don’t have the words. 

But He does.

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