Sunday, February 8, 2015

You can say you don't believe in God, but don't tell me He doesn't exist.

This has been kind of bugging me lately. For some reason - maybe it's the prevalence of social media - it seems to be a "thing" to spout off that there is no God and that He's basically for all those people who don't quite understand science.

What triggered this post was the social media response to an article posted on NBC's Facebook page about a 14-year old boy, and the cousin of a good friend of mine.

Missouri Teen Submerged in Icy Lake for 15 Minutes Makes 'Miracle' Recovery

A Missouri teen  and his friends were playing on some thin ice about a month ago when it gave way and they fell through. Two of the teens made it to safety. However, one of the boys was submerged for more than 15 minutes and had no pulse for nearly 45. In the ER, he showed no signs of life and his body temperature was 88 degrees. It wasn't until his mother came in and started praying loudly that his heart began beating again. Just last week, the 14 year old walked out of the hospital with normal brain function.

His family called it a miracle. The doctor who treated him called it a "bonfide miracle." The response on social media was mixed at best. Among those who praised the doctors AND God were those so incredibly quick to tell everyone they were wrong.

"It's not a miracle, it's science."
"Too stupid to understand science? Try religion!"
 "Did god appear? how about jesus or moses or mohammad? no? then it's no miracle."
"Let the god b.s. begin." 

First of all, I understand everyone has their right to free speech. It's abused to the nth degree nowadays, but it's there. I get it. What I don't get is where people get off telling other people they're WRONG in what they believe. 

See, it's OK if you don't believe in God. I have friends who don't believe in God. I love them very much, and I hope they love me back. I have a child who proclaims himself to be agnostic. This doesn't thrill me, but I accept it and I don't tell him he's WRONG. Nor do I tell my friends they're WRONG. It's what they BELIEVE, for God's sake, I need to respect that as much as they respect my beliefs. 

So since this is my blog and I have the floor, here's what I believe. 

I believe in God. 
I believe God had a hand in saving that Missouri teen. 
I believe God performs miracles every single day. 
I believe there are no such things as "coincidences." I call them "Godwinks."
I believe He gives us all free will, and that gets us into trouble sometimes. 
I believe God hears our prayers. I believe He answers some of them. 
I believe He has a Plan for everyone. 
I believe there is a Heaven and a Hell. 
I believe my mother is in Heaven and she is watching over me. I believe whenever I see something that reminds me of her, that is her, in Heaven, saying hello. 
I believe whomever gets away with murder or other horrific acts on this Earth will burn in Hell.

I believe that the reason that bad things happen to good people is not because God has some twisted sense of humor. I believe God allows a natural order to some things, however horrible, however unfair. Can I explain why children die from diseases? Can I explain why hostages are beheaded and burned? Can I explain why innocent people suffer and starve and hurt and die? 

I can't. But that isn't where you're going to "catch" someone who believes. And here's why. I believe that God is so incredibly transcendent that there is no way on this Earth and in our human brains that we will comprehend His Plan, or His order of things, or why He does what He does or doesn't do what He doesn't do. 

OK, this is from Evan Almighty, but I still love it.
I have FAITH. I have Faith in Him that He is all knowing. I TRUST He has a Plan for me. I TRUST He is watching over my children. That TRUST allows me to sleep at night. I PRAY to Him to give me more strength, more trust and more hope. He is HOPE. If I didn't have hope, I would have nothing. 

Hope allows me to get up in the morning. Hope keeps me going during the day. Hope sometimes literally keeps me ALIVE. 

God is my hope when I'm tired of hoping. God is my hope when I'm waiting for something that's just not happening fast enough, or at all. I trust God when my hope is failing. I ask him for strength to continue to trust and hope. So far, He has never denied me any of it. 

Here's my point. For those of you who don't believe in Him, I will never, ever tell you you're wrong. You believe what you believe. I respect that. I'm not you, I don't live your life, I haven't experienced what you've experienced nor was I raised in your belief system. It is not MY call to tell you what to believe. In turn, it is not YOUR job to tell me my beliefs are wrong, especially if I can't "scientifically explain" them. DON'T YOU SEE? I'm OK with that. And it's not because I don't understand science so I chalk it up to religion. It's because I have FAITH. 

People. Be kind to one another. Respect one another. You have not walked a mile in each others' shoes. Don't demean yourself by trying to put someone else in their place for what they believe versus what you believe. 

I'm going to leave you with this quote. It's from Pope Francis, who is probably the first religious leader that has appealed to more people of all beliefs than any other. In fact, I dare say he gives religion a good name. And it is this: 

"Since many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church and others are non-believers, from the bottom of my heart I give this silent blessing to each and every one of you, respecting the conscience of each one of you but knowing that each one of you is a child of God.  -Pope Francis
OK, he throws in that last part, but he doesn't shove it down your throat, right? I mean, COME ON. If the freakin' POPE can have that kind of respect, WHY CAN'T WE?

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