I am a Christian. And as a person of faith and a mother, I believe I have to be honest with my boys about something they’ll encounter in their own faith journey.
God is real, but it won’t always feel like He’s there.
And when that happens, well-meaning people will tell them they just need to do two things:
Read the Bible more.
And if they’d only do these, things will get better. But that’s not necessarily true. Sometimes, that cloud just won’t be lifted.
So here’s the truth: It’s not that they aren’t doing enough of something. It’s just the way life is on this earth.
But that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel.
See, His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are way beyond our thoughts.
Now I know some people have put Him in a box, and by their rules you can enter that box and through your behavior either turn God into a great roommate or one that needs to be appeased. Constantly. By even better behavior.
But I don’t buy into that idea that if you’re faithful, then everything will fall into place. I think things fall into place the way God wants them to. Whether it suits me or not.
And I don’t believe I can manipulate Him through behavior modification either. It pays to be faithful. But it doesn’t always ensure a smooth ride.
After all, the Bible said to delight myself in the Lord and He will give me the desires of my heart. So if I delight myself in Him, then He is the desire of my heart. Not anything else beyond Him. Or what He might do for me.
Often times, I’ve felt like God was hiding from me.
[I’ve learned it was just a feeling. Very real, but just a feeling all the same.]
And during those moments, everything I knew about His promises were such cold comfort.
Truth is truth, I’ve heard people say.
But sometimes truth goes down easier with just a little bit of empathy.
So I’ll teach my kids what I do to get past the darkness. And I’m pretty sure someone will consider me irreverent, but whatever. [I’ll send the White Witch their way.]
I turn to great literature. And then I use my imagination.
For example, I think about Aslan and Lucy.
Specifically, I think about burying my face into Aslan’s mane like Lucy did. His aura of power and unpredictability scare me, but I can feel his love too. And that is much stronger.
And then I think about how much greater my God is. And how He loves me even more.
Or I think about Aragorn and Frodo.
Specifically, from the movie, I think about that vow he made…
“If by my life or death I can protect you, I will. You have my sword…”
And then I don’t get as scared. Because my God fulfilled that vow.
When trying to understand a truth, sometimes it pays to draw on other people’s great works to jumpstart your imagination.
And most times it works.
Rest on that. Or, more like, dream on that.