Why do I believe?
Let’s begin by thinking about this….there are a little over seven billion people on this Earth. SEVEN BILLION. Picture yourself at a mall, an amusement park, a sports game, an airport…you have plenty of time before you need to be anywhere, so you sit down and just watch. You silently watch the people walk by, carrying on conversations with one another, going about their days. Maybe you come up with back stories for people or carry on the conversations for them long after their gone (or maybe I’m just weird like that). Now think about the fact that every single person that has walked past you is living their own reality. Each person is living their life, day in and day out. Just as you are the “star” of your own life, so are they. They have their own families, their own friends, their own jobs, their own pasts, and their own hopes for the future. This is where I think God comes into the picture.
I cannot help but to believe in a God so big that He could create the beautiful, mysterious complexities of 7 billion plus different people and an entire universe that we have yet to fully explore, but who is also so personal that He would create all of that for Himself and for us to enjoy with Him. He is a relational God, and He makes Himself known to us in amazing ways that we cannot explain, and He does so in a way that is as unique as we are.
I grew up attending church, knowing all of the stories, singing all of the songs, checking everything off of my list, knowing about God and Jesus and what He came to do. I knew it all, but I didn’t know it. I had never personally encountered it. I knew that my faith was a key part of who I was, but I didn’t have a relationship with God. One thing that is true of Him, though, is that once you invite Him into your life, He will show up somehow and it’s you who decides what to do next. God came to me in a whisper that I originally thought was my own thought, a seed planted in my head: “something better”. There was something much greater, a life much better than the one I was living just waiting for me to experience it. Something bigger and better than I could ever imagine or dream for myself. I followed that whisper, and my life slowly began to change. But I still didn’t really know God.
I went to Azusa Pacific University, ready for all that God was going to show me, or so I thought. God did show up again, but this time, He showed up in my roommate and other people that He placed in my life when I needed them. But even then, when I knew He was there, I doubted. I doubted every little thing that didn’t seem to make sense to me or didn’t seem to fit in with what the world told me made sense. The more I learned, the more questions I had. Eventually it clicked. God’s timing is not our timing. God’s ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) His mystery is so much deeper than we could ever know. And I began to think, “Why would I want to know it? Why would I want to figure it all out?” God shouldn’t be able to be figured out; He should be God, the almighty, all-powerful, and all-knowing God that He says He is, Yahweh.
I still wanted to figure it out, but instead of trying to find all of the answers on my own, I began to pray that God would reveal them to me, that He would guide me to His truth. And I know this sounds like God-talk and like something totally unrelatable to some people, but it is the simplest and most sincere of prayers that God uses to move the biggest mountains. And He did. He has shown Himself so faithful to me and to those around me time and time again, and I can’t help but to believe.
Sometimes it is hard to believe. Sometimes, doubt creeps in again and makes it hard for me to let go of control. There are still so many questions that I want to know the answers to. I don’t always see God, and I don’t always hear from Him, but I DO rest on what I have seen Him do in my life already and in what He shows me through His word (which I will never be perfect at reading but I’m trying). And my faith in His faithfulness and my hope in His promise (Romans 4:18) keeps me going. He becomes my strength and carries me until I can stand on my own. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
I am a Psychology major at APU with a minor in Leadership, so I guess you could say I like people. I love hearing people’s stories and hearing how little whispers or loud events in someone’s life have lead them in different directions in their life. And whether they know it or not, I can see God piece by piece, note by note, orchestrating our lives and intertwining our narratives with those being created by others. The proof is inside of each one of us, in our own lives. He is there, waiting to reveal Himself to us in our own unique lives, if we’d only let us. We each have the opportunity to invite Him in, to shake things up, and to allow Him to give us our own story or own reason of why we believe in Him.
Kara is attending Azusa Pacific University as a Psychology major. She is a multi-talented person, whose passion for life is contagious.