She turned and looked at me in the middle of the bowling alley and I could tell by her face she was going to ask me something important. “Can I ask you a crazy question?” I knew for some reason that she was going to ask me something about God and that the words out of my mouth needed to proclaim His truth. Oh, man, I thought. I am such a messy speaker. I cannot think on my feet to save my life. Give me a computer and some time and I’ll write something down for you but asking me, point blank, can result in a tongue-tied mess. I felt like Moses when God called him to speak to Pharaoh and he stood before the Lord and said, “Really? I’m not super awesome at talking to people—maybe you’d let me phone a friend?”
God, Why Would You Choose Me to Explain THAT?
But I looked around and there was no one. And she was asking ME. God put me there on purpose—He knows I’m terrible with this kind of thing but He put me there anyway. My friend asked me what I thought about some of the Bible stories we read to our kids and how when we think about them (as logic-seeking, control-loving, proof-demanding adults), they are sometimes really hard to believe. I mean, really, Jonah? The whale? Daniel and the lion’s den? The parting of the Red Sea? How can anyone logically explain that?
I took a deep breath and began.
I told her that I understand those feelings and thoughts (after all, I’m an adult who likes things to make sense as much as possible, too). I think we like things to fit neatly in a box so our brains can feel comfortable with ideas within our earthly parameters. But I told her that I believe God created this fantastic world—out of nothing. I believe the God who created THE story is able to use whatever means He desires to tell His story—and miracles are one of the many ways He chose (and chooses) to reveal Himself to us.
Timothy Keller says in his book, The Reason for God, “If there is a Creator God, there is nothing illogical at all about the possibility of miracles. After all, if he created everything out of nothing, it would hardly be a problem for Him to rearrange parts of it as and when He wishes.” And all the miracles of Jesus—the healing, feeding, raising of the dead? They were impossible by human standards but Jesus wasn’t putting on a magic show. Keller says, “We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order.”
Transparency in Faith
But I also said that as I parent my children and reveal God’s truth to them, I am very honest when I tell them there is much I don’t understand. And there are some things I believe we won’t understand until we see Him face to face. I said a silent “thank you” as I looked over at my son who happened to be sitting close by. I said, “Sam, what’s one of the first things I’m going to ask God when I get to heaven?” Without missing a beat, he said dramatically, “What’s up with snakes?” We all laughed but I was thankful he was there to reveal my transparency that I try to have with my kids as I teach them to love God.
I don’t know all the answers but I don’t have to know them. I know the God who created it all. I know His Son who died for me. I know the One who lives within me as I muddle through conversations in bowling alleys. His story is wonderful and perfect and interesting and scary and impossible for me to fully comprehend. It takes a childlike faith combined with a mature passion to fully know the Author and accept the beauty of how the story ends.
And the thing about snakes? I fully expect (gulp) there’s a good reason for them. Even if I have no earthly idea what it might be.