Monday, March 24, 2014

God's Not Dead

Deuteronomy 31:8...More at http://beliefpics.christianpost.com/

When I first created this blog, it was meant to share my style choices, my favorite beauty secrets, the occasional recipe -- that kind of thing. I didn't really want it to become a blog where I was constantly sharing my thoughts and opinions about life, not because there's anything wrong with that, but because I don't find myself particularly funny or feel that I have this great thing that I need to share. It was more so to be a place where I shared the things I loved, style suggestions, and the like, but this has been on my heart.

I was a little hesitant to share this, but this past weekend, I went with my parents to see God's Not Dead. It is about a college student who is forced to stand up to his atheist philosophy professor when asked to write on paper that God is Dead. The student, a devout Christian, challenges his professor because he can't and won't betray his faith. He is given 3 20-minute segments to explain how and why God does in fact exist, and must persuade his classmates in order to pass the class.

There are many other side-stories that all wrap up in to one, but it would take a lot of paragraphs to explain it all. But there was one very poignant moment at the very end of the student's lectures in which he asks the professor, "Why do you hate God?" The professor is baffled, but then goes on to say that he hates God because he took everything away from him -- his mother lost a battle to cancer when he was only 12. The student responds to this statement with: How can you hate something you don't believe in?

I've grown up my whole life in a Christian home. We went to church on Sundays, I went to youth groups and bible schools, and I continue to read the Bible and practice my faith. But I'm also embarrassed to admit that my faith is not as strong as it should be. As I've mentioned briefly before that my grandmother has ALS, a disease that traps the victim in his or her own body. As much as it hurts to say it, it is virtually a death sentence. My grandmother and I are incredibly close, and while 2.5 years into the disease she is still persevering, it is hard to sit back and watch the disease take its course. Which is why I often ask, "Why, God?" 

You see, my grandmother has been a woman of incredible faith, and even still she studies the Bible, asks her preacher questions about things she's interested in knowing more about, and does not blame God for the disease. Yet I struggle with that, much like the professor in God's Not Dead. Though I know that we have free will, and that we are free to make choices in our lives, it is often times hard for me to understand why diseases like ALS or cancer overcome some who have the strongest of faiths. My other grandmother has Parkinson's Disease, so every where I turn, a neuron disease is affecting someone I love. She, too, is dedicated to her faith, and yet I struggle as to why these things happen.

There have been several verses that remind me that I am but nothing and that I need to put my faith in the Lord, especially in my times of trouble. So often, we quote Philippians 4:13, but as of late, I find Philippians 4:10-13 to be most appropriate: I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Another verse I find appropriate is 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

I've realized that my going to see that movie was not coincidence. It challenged my faith and reminded me that I instead of being angry in times of trouble, I need to instead pray.

This has weighed heavy on my heart to share since Saturday evening when I left the theater -- so hopefully this will affect someone the way it affected me.

I will leave you with this last verse: He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge. -- Psalm 91:4
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12 comments

  1. Oh, girl. Oh girlie girlie girlie.
    First off: glory to God!!! I love seeing this side of you and a love your heart so much. Thanks for boldly sharing it with us. You are a gem!!!
    I haven't seen this movie yet, but I really want to!! Maybe Mark and I can make it happen soon.

    Love hearing your inner thoughts. Struggling with a fallen world and all of the sins/problems in it is hard for sure, but we must trust that God's heart breaks for those things too. You are so loved! Lifting your sweet grandmother up in prayer now. What a rock she is!! Thank you, Lord! xx

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  2. I hope I get a chance to see God's Not Dead. Several of my friends roadtripped to see it and found it very powerful. Thanks for sharing!

    Sunny
    www.whossunny.blogspot.com

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  3. I agree with Elise!! Thank you SO much for sharing this. Sometimes it's so easy to want to question God. I've always heard that we shouldn't question Him, but part of me thinks/believes that maybe He does want us to. He wants us to come to Him with our questions, thoughts, & concerns!

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  4. such a great quote. God was so on my said last monday. When my husband got in a bus accident. I happy that he is still with me and only his knee is messed up.

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  5. I think it's so hard to share these things out in the blogging world, but it's such a great space for you to reflect on everything that you feel! It's great this movie was able to give you a different perspective! One of my grandmother's also suffers from Parkinson's disease and it's hard to see these terrible things taking over our loved ones - but we just have to believe and find strength in ourselves and others!

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  6. I saw this movie and loved it! One of my favorites is John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Such a comfort when life gets hard.

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    1. Thank you for sharing that verse as well! It is definitely a movie worth watching!

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  7. "it is often times hard for me to understand why diseases like ALS or cancer overcome some who have the strongest of faiths" - I've struggled with this exact same thing for a long time. I lost my mom - who had the strongest faith of anyone I've ever known - almost 10 years ago to a long drawn out disease and I still always question things. My pastor was just talking about last night that when you're in trouble you have to trust that God will take care of you and obviously I do, but it's just hard when he doesn't always show up in the way you want. It's something I'm sure we will never have the answers to (until we get to meet him ourselves!) but something I hope that I - and others - can find peace over. Sorry for that to get so long but it's something that has been on my mind lately, too :)

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  8. This is a beautiful post, and I think it's something a lot of people (myself included!) can relate to. After my uncle passed away from an ugly battle with cancer last year, I didn't know what to think. After a lot of prayer and heartache, I realized sometimes we need challenging times, where our faith is tested a little, because those are the opportunities we have to actually strengthen our relationship with and trust in God. Praying for you and your family!

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  9. Wonderful job on a beautifully written and authentic post! Reading your words today was so encouraging, and your boldness is inspiring. My heart breaks for your grandmother, and you are both in my prayers - what a blessing to KNOW that she has such a strong faith and personal relationship with the Lord.

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words and your prayers! And I could not agree more -- it is both a blessing and a comfort to know how deep her faith is!

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  10. This movie was SO awesome! We were in a sold-out show and the entire audience clapped at that moment when he said "How can you hate something that doesn't exist?" It was GREAT

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