You’ve probably all seen it before. It’s a warm summer day and you’re at the pool. You're enjoying the sun and coolness of the water and you see off to the side something amazing happening. A young child maybe three or four years old is about to do the bravest thing he/she has ever done: jump into the cold, unstable, threatening depths of a 3 ft pool. In the water stands the child’s mother, arms ready to catch. Do they take the leap?
I believe in a similar way we, as children of God, are called to take the leap, but how often do we, like Peter, see the waves and winds and become more focused on them than Jesus? I was hired here at Eagle 12 weeks ago and since then I've had to face my share of doubts. Doubts of uncertainty, performance and faith have plagued my mind. However, in fighting these doubts, I’ve learned a few things.
Is it certain that believers will go to Heaven? Is it certain that Jesus rose from the grave? Is it certain that Jesus is Lord? Is it certain that I will lose my job if I keep asking questions like this? Eh maybe. The reason I bring this up is that we—as 21st century Americans—love certainty. We love to see evidence. We love to be able to refute objections. We love to paint everything in thick black and white logic. My question in all of this is where does faith come in? Where is the point where we have to say I don’t know but He does?
A few years ago, I was studying at Moody when I listened to a YouTube video from famed atheist Richard Dawkins. In it he claimed that faith, whether it be Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism, was culturally learned and therefore not objective. He claimed my faith was a product of my environment and nothing more. I didn’t know how to refute this. I could come up with solutions and rational, but I didn’t know how I could be certain. The truth of the matter is that there are over 4,000 religions in the world. How am I to know that I got it right? As I struggled with this problem an image came to my mind. In Ephesians 5 Paul talks about marriage and he describes it as image of Christ and His Church. That image struck me, and I thought about what two people look like when they’re in love. When two people unconditionally love one another whole heartily they don’t wonder. What I mean by this is that they are so overwhelmed by love that they don’t care what some other guy/gal is offering. Their eyes are focused on the one whom they love.
As I thought about this, I thought of all the times I had seen God work in my life: how He saved me, how He gave me an identity as His son, and how He had loved me when I didn’t love Him back. God has been so good and gracious to me. As I thought about all this I knew I didn’t want to go anywhere else.
It would take me multiple lifetimes to fully understand and comprehend all the belief systems the world has to offer. Or perhaps I could look only at the one who loves my soul and trust Him in faith to fill in the gaps of my uncertainty. Are we willing to take the leap into His arms?