“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.” (Psalm 14:1, NIV)
I am not a fool (though, as pictured above, I have played one). I believe there is a God. I believe in one true God – the God of creation, the God of salvation, the God of redemption, the God of healing, the God of providence. I, like every other person that has, is, or ever will live, cannot prove God’s existence. Then again, neither has, nor will, anyone ever disprove His existence.
Admittedly, my belief in God’s existence requires faith. But this faith is not a blind faith. It is evidence based. Although the evidence I have seen, and continue to see, to bolster my faith in God’s existence is multi-faceted, some of the strongest evidence derives from three sources – the universe, changed lives, and my own life.
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship” (Psalm 19:1, NIV).
When it comes to creation, one can argue ad infinitum about the various theories of the origin of man. Were we created instantly out of the dust or did we evolve from a lower life form over millions of years? I do not know. And quite honestly, I do not care. I tend to believe the former, but know plenty of people (both Christian and non-Christian) who believe the latter. I don’t consider all evolutionists heretics, pagans, or heathens. There is certainly some evidence to support their position. But what I cannot stand for is the banal theory that our universe suddenly came into existence out of nothing. Such theories deny the laws of nature. I care not how intelligent one may claim to be, to believe that our universe suddenly appeared out of nothing, with no intelligent catalyst, requires a level of faith that equals or exceeds those of creationists.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17, NIV)
In my more than 50 years of life, I have seen countless addicts freed from their addictions. Some were freed instantaneously; others over time. I have seen adulterous men and women forgiven, and their marriages restored. I’ve seen abusive men and women changed into tenderhearted, patient, loving people. I have seen lying, cheating, conniving men and women changed into honest, upright, and integral people.
With few exceptions, these changes were permanent, not temporary. And the people attribute their change to one source – God. Who am I to argue?
“You do not have because you do not ask God.” (James 4:2, NIV)
I came to believe and trust God at a very young age. Since then, the level of my faith has ebbed and flowed. Yet, I never once believed He does not exist. I’ve personally experienced too many “coincidences” to disbelieve God exists. There have been numerous decision points in my life where, by faith, I believe His providence was at work to bring me to where I am today. There have been countless times that I have experienced His guiding hand at work, that I’ve sensed His grace and mercy, that I’ve witnessed Him answering prayer. I could recount them all, but I’d like to recount the most recent of these episodes.
As most readers of my blogs know, my wife recently underwent surgery to remove a meningioma (i.e., non-cancerous tumor) from her brain. Readers also know that, because of this, I was, and to some extent remain, unhappy with God. Yet, my faith in Him has not wavered. While I will never in this lifetime understand why He allowed the tumor in the first place, how it was discovered, diagnosed, and ultimately removed evinces divine intervention.
You see, the tumor itself was a so-called happenstance find. That is, it was discovered only while attempting to diagnose another, less serious and unrelated medical issue. Had this issue not occurred, there would not have been a reason for a doctor to order an MRI. Not, perhaps, until the tumor grew to a size to cause symptoms that might point to the need for an MRI. By that point it may have overtaken portions of her brain that precluded complete extraction.
Then, when the tumor underwent a growth spurt last spring, I shared my concern with my law firm partner. Coincidentally, his neighbor is a doctor who works in the neurology department at the Mayo Clinic here in Phoenix. So he asked his neighbor if he would advise my wife and me. He agreed, and within 24 hours my wife had an appointment with one of Mayo’s top neurosurgeons. Also coincidentally, his disposition was a fit perfect fit for my wife.
On the day of my wife’s surgery, and also during the days and weeks leading up to it, people around the globe were praying for her. A cousin of mine prayed for her at the Western Wall in Israel; friends in Italy and throughout Europe prayed for her; friends in Latin America prayed for her; relatives and friends throughout the United States prayed for her; our church family prayed for her; our immediate families prayed for her. Before they wheeled her into surgery, I prayed with her, and prayed with and for the surgeon.
And what was the result? After a 6-hour procedure, the surgeon let me know he’d completely removed the tumor! That is miraculous because it was located near her optic nerve. As such, he was uncertain how much he would be able to extract. After her first post-operative MRI, the surgeon told us that her MRI appeared “as though the meningioma had never been there.”
And now, just 6 short weeks after, she is off all prescription medications. She is able to drive. She looks as beautiful as ever. Shoot, she’s back to bossing me and everyone else in the family around!