I'm reading this really great book. It's called "O Me of Little Faith" by Jason Boyett. It's all about doubt within the Christian life. It strikes a chord with me because I have struggled with doubt throughout my years on earth...even though I grew up in the Church and have loved Jesus all the while. How could I doubt? Well, I don't know. How do I have faith? I don't know that either. But I possess both of them and they both make me a stronger believer...because they both keep me searching for the Truth.
In the book, Boyett discusses some of his "experiences" with God; times when he knew that God was real.
His accounts made me think, "What are some of the touchstones of my faith? When have I known without a shadow of doubt that 1) God is real and 2) in His realness He cares for me? One occurrence in my life popped right into my recollection.
When I was a kid we were pretty bad off in the money department. I was the little girl who, in the 1980's, was wearing brown polyester and bell bottoms when the other kids were wearing florescent nylon and tapered leg jeans. Hand-me-downs were my personal style.
We were also the "scholarship kids" at a Christian school. All of our friends were pretty well off. The day after Christmas break was always torture as the other kids talked about Santa bringing Nintendos and Reebok's and about 500 other gifts. Our Christmas' were about Jesus, family and cookies...not so much about toys. But when you're in 2nd grade you want it to be about the presents.
One day at that Christian school we were challenged to go home and collect food for a poor family. The Hippie in me said "Right on!" and got all excited about helping this poor family.
"MOM! Can we take some stuff for the food drive at school?" I asked, climbing all over myself with enthusiasm.
"Well, let's see." My Mom was a teacher at my school (she taught art...how cool is that?). She had to know this was coming. "We have a can of corn and a box of corn cereal. That's it."
And she was right. That was all we had. Payday was coming. But not really as soon as the food was going.
"But, let's just trust God." She said this with a beautiful smile spread across her face. "We can always go to Grandma's for dinner."
So, we put the can of corn and box of corn cereal (yup, not even the brand name of that one) in a bag. We were trusting God.
That night, after school we did go to my Grandma's house for dinner. She had cookies...never ending cookies. Just like a Grandmother should.
When we got home and started doing our homework we noticed a huge van pulling up to our house. The doors swung open. Out stepped a few of the teachers from our school. They started unloading boxes upon boxes and bringing them into our home.
The boxes were full of food.
We had no idea that the food drive was for us. We were the poor family. But far more importantly, we were a family that God cared about.
Would we have been blessed by the gifts of our friends even if we hadn't put forth our contribution? Yes.
Would we have starved to death if we weren't showered with cans of soup and boxes of jello? No.
Were we blessed with a need so that we could be the recipients of God's mercy through others? I really think so.
This event shaped my belief in God. It taught me that He cares about the needs of His children.
And yet I still doubt? Yeah. Sometimes. Sometimes I forget that God can possibly love a worm like me. Sometimes I question certain things in the Bible. And every once in a while I wonder if it's all true.
But in those moments I turn my brain to thinking about the food drive. God really did and does care for us. And you. And me.