We lived through a tornado. Our lives were spared. The day after our hearts were filled with gratitude for another day. We knew Who gave us those days and were grateful to Him. Then came the slide downward. Here it is three weeks later and I have been in the spiritual dump. Not just a garbage dump, but carrying around the chains of my old sinful self. Ranting, swearing, questioning my faith and being highly impatient with my loved ones. I felt a dark cloud wrapped around my heart that I couldn’t shake.
Its wild how quickly it happens, the questions, long dealt with, that pop back up. Like a cancer they grow. ” I mean really, how can anyone logically look at the Bible and believe any of it?” ” What am I teaching my children these fairy tales for? ” “Maybe atheists have it right. Life is precious now. It’s fleeting. That’s a better way to live.” “Maybe I have been indoctrinated to believe a foolish story.” “Is my faith a delusion?” These thoughts were popping into my mind like rapid gunfire. Daily, they were tearing down what I believed in so fully only weeks before. Where was this coming from? I knew. I know. And it wasn’t from a sudden flow of knowledge or self-realization, no epiphany. This didn’t feel like the “truth” revealed. It felt like an all out war. An act of spiritual terrorism on my heart and in my mind.
I read an interview with Brad Pitt once. He said that as a young man he could go into a church and feel swept up in the moment, feeling God’s presence and know it as truth. But then he could go to a heavy metal concert and get the same feeling. That bothered me for a long time. How true it seems! A feeling is just a feeling, nothing special, right? Then one day I heard wisdom that blew Brad’s argument straight out of the water. You see, a concert might produce the same feeling, but it never produced a change in my life. When I spill hot tears during the singing of hymns, a powerful sermon or the reading of scripture, I am changed. I can read Darwin, Dawkins, Hawking, or Hitchens, and be challenged, but I am never changed. Only one book has ever done that for me. And whereas I can read any secular book and retain the information with an almost photographic memory, if I slack on my Bible reading, I forget it. All of it. At the most, I can remember “In the beginning” or “Jesus wept”.
I can stand here and say most definitely I was not indoctrinated as a child. Most who know me, know that I took the most unlucky, winding road to my faith. I don’t consider myself delusional, but hey, denying it only makes one more suspect in the eyes of others. I do know exactly which door I opened that allowed these attacks to come in. I don’t want to name it, because I don’t want to sound like I am condemning people who use certain social media outlets. But one in particular is such a cesspool of hate, arguing, and strife that I have decided that the door needs to close. The people who were finding me on the site and attacking me about my beliefs may be highly intelligent and well-informed, but they are bullies. And I am JUST as intelligent and JUST as well-informed, even though they nearly succeeded in making me feel different.
I am so thankful that I can come through these times with my faith stronger and my heart softer. I am thankful for being able to lead my children to the Lord. What a blessing! What a gift! Forget these people who have to tear everyone down. Life is too short and eternity is too glorious.
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” Matt 24:12
“But you must realize that in the last days the times will be full of danger. Men will become utterly self-centered, greedy for money, full of big words. They will be proud and abusive, without any regard for what their parents taught them. They will be utterly lacking in gratitude, reverence and normal human affections. They will be remorseless, scandal mongers, uncontrolled and violent and haters of all that is good. They will be treacherous, reckless and arrogant, loving what gives them pleasure instead of loving God. They will maintain a facade of religion but their life denies its truth. Keep clear of people like that” 2 Tim 3:1-6
There is still time…