“Mama. This isn’t true.” Faith has a Magic Tree House book open to the last few pages. She is pointing to the heading, The Rainbow Serpent, an Aboriginal myth about the role the Rainbow Serpent played in creating the world. “It’s not true. I don’t think that the author should write about things that aren’t true like they are true! Indignation leaves it’s mark on her little face.
John has been watching the Discovery Channel with Stuart. He comes out in the middle of a program to let me know, “It’s another one of those the Bible can’t be true so here’s what happened instead shows. This week it’s about how Noah’s ark would have sunk. Last week, it was about how they found Jesus’ bones. Where do they come up with this stuff?”
These conversations are heartening. My children are learning to evaluate the reasoning of others using the Bible as a plumb line. An incredible skill for ones so young.
Just a few years ago, planes flew into the Twin Towers and scattered glass, concrete and human flesh, confidence and security. My own young faith teetered in the aftermath of this event. How could men be so convinced that they were right? How could they be so sure they would fly into those buildings and come out in a blaze of Glory? Where did this conviction come from? I found myself wondering, Am I so sure of what I believe that I would be willing to defend my beliefs? To speak up? To die?
I wandered around the house in a fog making beds and washing dishes. They seemed unnecessary, worthless tasks in the grand scheme of things against the backdrop of those days. I voiced my thoughts to Stuart. “Is the God whom we believe in right? Are we on the right track?”
His answer was wise. “Belief is a decision. If you choose to follow Jesus. Follow. And keep your eyes open. If He is who He says He is, He will show Himself faithful to you and you will come out at the end of this time of doubting more sure of your faith. If He is who He says He is, He will not crumble because of your questioning.” This is what happened. I did pass through to the other side, from doubt to a renewed, strengthened faith.
Yesterday I was studying John 16 and verses 1-4 glowed as if blinking from a billboard. “I have told you all these things so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue, yet a time is coming when the one who kills you will think he is offering service to God. They will do these things because they have not known the Father or me. But I have told you these things so that when their time comes you will remember that I told you about them” Oh, I thought. If I had known these words on September 11, 2001, I would not have faltered. I would not have been surprised by the ferocity and the calculation of those men. I would have known how to think. I would have been standing on a firm foundation instead of swinging in the breeze.
This then is why the Word is at the heart of our day. It makes our path straight and our footing sure. It’s what my children will need as they make their way into the world and while they live here in the shelter of our family. It’s what I need for confidence and peace.