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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 258 - Why I Believe {FMF}

Back again with Five Minute Friday, the keyword-driven timed writing challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Please visit for some really wonderful writing!

Once again, illness forces me to write this ahead of time, and I ask your pardon. I will try to edit in the week's word when it's revealed.

(It's MIDDLE.)

And so...

Nights are getting hard. There's no remotely comfortable position,and I'm awake a lot. The alternative is an eerie doze filled with vivid nightmares. Yee-ha.

I'll admit it can be scary...and years ago, when I wondered how I would cope with facing death-by-illness, my biggest fear was facing the fear of death.

But the thing is, I'm not afraid of dying, because I believe in God. And yet...I've never had the 'personal relationship with God'. I with I did, but one has to do with that which one has. Kind of a middle path between experience and blind hope.

And what I have, like any good Vulcan, is logic. (If you'd like to visit my post on How To be A Vulcan, I'd be honoured.)

Doesn't sound very comforting, eh? But really, it is. When the black times come at three in the morning, when is this all there is? comes creeping into my mind, here is that to which my faith is pinned:
  • Evidence of a Creator is found in the staggering odds against the 'natural' formation of even the simplest form of life. Given that there are about two thousand enzymes which form life's 'building blocks', the chances of obtaining all of them in a random trial is 1 in 10 to the 40,000th power, according to Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe. That's 40,000 zeros. God is the only remotely reasonable option.
  • Archaeology has proven much of what is found in the New Testament, and is giving increasing support to the veracity of the Old Testament. Sites are as described, and individuals are increasingly shown to have lived when and where the Bible said they did.
  • Jesus' ministry is corroborated by outside sources, such as Flavius Josephus.
  • As C.S. Lewis so famously pointed out, Jesus' claim of divinity meant that He was either mad, or telling the truth, and there is no evidence of madness in anything He was recorded as saying. He speaks with an authoritative and shrewd voice, with occasional touches of sly humour. 
  • His followers are likewise not described as those who would follow a lunatic, given that their discipleship put them on a collision course with the possibility of a singularly unpleasant death, as they would have been considered blasphemers by the religious authorities.
  • Jesus' death and resurrection can be assumed to be true by the behaviour of the Apostles. If Jesus had died and not risen, there would have been no reason to continue following Him unto death. Preaching what one knows to be a lie, knowing that one's own ending would be bad, is madness, and as mentioned the Apostles were clearly not crazy.
  • Paul's behaviour supports this. His travels and writings show him to be nothing if not rational, and one has to believe his experience on the road to Damascus. It had to be real; an hallucination would have left any sane man doubting the experience, however vivid it was, and that would have shown up in his letters.
There's more, but my time is up.

The only rational conclusion I can draw is that there is a God, and He lived as a man two thousand years ago. He came to earth for the reason He stated - to save our souls - and died so that we could live.

Not believing would simply be...wait for it...illogical.

The musical theme is from the film 13 Hours...



I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.


Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

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38 comments:

  1. Love your insight! Being in the middle isn't so bad when God is right there with you! Blessings friend!

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    1. Mary, you're so right...having God with me in the middle makes it so much easier...and indeed, possible.

      Thanks so much for being here!

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  2. Did you know the words "do not be afraid" appear 365 times in the Bible? One for each day. Sorry that nights are bad. I can't help but think of Psalm 30:5. I'm in the 14 spot this week.

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    1. Tara, wow...I did not know that there was one "Be not afraid" for each day! That lightens my heart. Thanks so much for this!

      Going to Ps. 30 now. I keep a Bible next to my computer!

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  3. Marley is adorable. Looking forward to read your other blog.
    Thank you for your honesty as usual.

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    1. Thank you, Lux! I hope you enjoy 'Starting The Day With Grace". I enjoy writing it.

      And thanks so much for stopping by.

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  4. Prayers that the personal relationship with God is revealed to you in the little and big gifts that surround you. Only He can provide those. His glimmers of grace are for you alone...just look for them. Some are unique and special...this is the personal relationship I share with God. Seeing him move in weird ways. Two cents. Not worth much but perhaps some points to ponder. FMF friend gracelimmers

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    1. Jennifer, thank you for this. I will look for those glimmers of grace, as you so beautifully describe them.

      Way more than two cents, my friend. WAY more.

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  5. We all need something to hang onto in our faith, hey? And you demonstrate that faith in every post you write... hoping for better sleeps for you this week :(

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    1. Emma, you're so right. We do indeed need 'faith hooks'.

      I so appreciate your kind words, and your good wishes!

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  6. Just don't start counting sleeps. You're in the middle of a hellish illness and it s*cks. And, you're in the middle of the place, for some reason, God has allowed. I'm glad you're in our lives - I want you to stay for a bit longer. xo

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    1. Susan, thanks...no counting sleeps for me. And yes, God has allowed this for His own reasons, the outlines of which I am, I think, beginning to see.

      partof it is witnessing to the good in life, regardless of my circumstances...and part of it seems to be documenting the fight against really horrible depression that goes with this. I've never suffered from clinical depression, and am using all I can to keep my head above water. I think that may be important; perhaps the most important lesson here.

      I intend to be here for those four years, 'till you get here.

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  7. Andrew,
    I am a trekky of sorts. Always loved Spock. I am glad you discovered by logic that the Bible and God are real. I pray you experience that personal relationship you are desiring. I am not smart enough to come to trust by logic. Faith must be present. From your posts I believe you depend upon God in your situation. What else is there, logically? I pray you find the faith that brings an inner sight to your blindness. There is so much darkness we face in our lives the light must be on the inside. As Christ to be that light inside you. I am #31 this week, contrary to my new years goal of dropping this. Weaning perhaps. Happy to be your friend.

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    1. Mary, it's good to hear from a fellow Trekky! I'd love to find that deep personal relationship with the Almighty...I read about it, and truly envy those who have it. I guess not all envy is bad.

      Still, coming to faith through logic is comforting.

      Going to your blog later this evening or tomorrow. Please don't stop, or even wean. I, for one, need your voice.

      Happy to be your friend, too.

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    2. Thanks for reading my small words. To know someone is listening is huge! I think it is a dopemine infusion.

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  8. Thank you for sharing your struggles honestly and for pointing out the things that led you to faith. We all come to it a bit differently as Christ calls us each as individuals. I pray he will give you comfort, both physically and spiritually.

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    1. Charlie, you're absolutely right, that we are called as individuals. I admit to envy of those who have that personal relationship...but I don't resent what I have.

      And He does give me comfort in the unassailable logicof His existence.

      Thanks so much for being here!

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  9. I always leave your blog feeling like I learned something, like today. Continued prayers for comfort during this time. Thank you for stopping by today.

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    1. Maria, thank you for this! You made my day.

      And thank you so much for the prayers. They're very important to me.

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  10. Ah, my friend, I'm praying that you get to know God on a personal level--may he send his Holy Spirit to minister to you in the dark watches of the night.

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    1. Anita, thanks so much. I hope I do get to know Him personally in this life...but I have full faith that I will know Him quite well in the next.

      Thanks so much for being here!

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  11. Andrew,
    blessed are the logical, for they are well equipped to rationalize with the rational. You are suited to engage in discussions with others I could never reach. I rely so much on my personal experiences to describe my faith that I can seldom reach out to my searching cousins.
    :) I googled the lyrics to "stuck in the middle with you" and the song rambles and makes little sense to me, but it was the soundtrack in my head when I was reading your blog last night. Probably just the era of when it was written.
    Or maybe it's that we're hiding amongst the mockers and the scoffers and we know the truth and they aren't serious enough to wake up and see it?
    Getting pretty profound here.
    I think your happy place is in the middle of the dogpile. All the pups around you happy and eager to show their affection.
    Blessings to you and Barbara!
    -Tammy
    (I may linkup later. Not currently linked. Thanks again for the comment on the BraveGirl post!)

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    1. I love this, Tammy...and I'm so glad you have that profound personal relationship with Him. It shines through your words.

      And you are something of a mind-reader, because "Stuck In The Middle With You" was running through my mind when I wrote this post.

      And you're so right - I'm at my best in the middle of the dogpile.

      So glad you're here today!

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  12. Sorry the nights have been difficult for you- will continue to pray. Logic is important- sometimes I can rely too much on feelings and experience but they are not stable or reliable and truth is true even when we can't feel it. I'm glad you've found something solid to hold on to.

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    1. Lesley, I love the way you put this - the truth is true even when we can't feel it. That's genius.

      Thanks so very much for being here, my friend.

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  13. I don't fear death, but the process gives me pause. You give me a glimpse, and I'd rather hear the hard truth. Somehow, you continue to walk with God day to day in the midst of pain.

    I'm sure you and God have vivid conversations. Relationships don't all look the same. I'd say he is connecting with you in a way that fits just right for you--logic in tact.

    Prayers for you.

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    1. Cheryl, I'm with you. The hard truth is best.

      I do have conversations with God. They are a bit one-sided from here, but I am absolutely sure He is listening.

      Thank you so much for your presence here, and your prayers.

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  14. Good and valid points presented, Andrew...some days I think or wonder just what a relationship with God really IS?! Though I FEEL as if I DO have that relationship; sometimes I do wonder!!

    And nightmares? I'd hate not being able to sleep; but then to sleep and have nightmares...actually, sometimes I DO have them. In fact, last night I awoke and remembered the dream (nightmare?) that had me in its throes...I had just gone to the door to make sure my father(?) had closed it completely when someone busted in; they had on a really ugly clown(?) mask and started choking me and throwing me all around...I was so glad to have awakened!! What WAS that nightmare anyway???

    Thank you as always for sharing with us...continued prayers and hugs and HOPE you can start sleeping better; and that you DO find that relationship, however it appears to be in your situation!!

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    1. Oh, Barbara! The nightmare you shared is one that I could have had!

      I suspect that if you feel you've got that personal relationship with God...you've got it. I never had that distinct feeling, and sure wish I did!

      Thank you so much for the prayers and hugs. They're very much appreciated. It's a difficult time.

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  15. Andrew, I love visiting your page. You write such honesty and it's gut wrenching raw. But I believe you do have a relationship with Jesus, it's all in how we see it.

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    1. Bonnie, thank you for this. I think you're right...the relationship is about how we see it, and I'm absolutely sure that He does have a relationship with ME!

      And that is all the comfort in the world.

      Thanks so much for being here today!

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  16. Blessings to you Andrew. Keep on keeping on! Thanks for your faithfulness to keep sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much, Leigh! Blessings back!

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  17. andrew, as i'm sure you know, logic doesn't help much in the face of fear, pain or death. it is a great foundation for our beliefs, but it isn't much comfort during hard times. it is relationships that are comforting. to know that because of Christ's coming to earth, His death for us on the cross as complete payment for our sin and His resurrection that showed He won the victory over sin and death? That sets up the basis of a relationship we could never have with a holy GOD apart from Jesus. not only does He make a way for us to be reconciled to GOD, He also adopts us into His family and is our proud Father. hard to imagine this combo of metaphors but it certainly gives a picture of our relationship with Him doesn't it? We can now live a life of confidence in our relationship with the Father because of Jesus:) the confidence that He will never leave us, that He accepts us completely and loves us forever, these are all encouraging and comforting truths. blessings:)

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    1. Thank you so much for this, Martha. You summed it up perfectly, and I'm deeply grateful for this very accessible description. It sure helps me, and I'm positive others are grateful as well!

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  18. You and I have discussed this issue on many occasions, Andrew, and I feel like you take issue with the whole idea of a "personal relationship with Christ." Tell me if I'm wrong, but it seems too sentimental and emotional to state the relationship you have with Christ in this way. But what you've described above is your "faith" in God, correct? If that's what you are saying and not just making a case for an intellectual assent to the tenets of Christianity, then I would agree with you completely. We don't have to have a touchy-feely relationship with Christ, if we've placed our faith in His divinity and redemptive death. I'm continuing to pray for you, my friend! I hope that you feel God giving you the strength to live and work another day.

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  19. Sorry to hear about your nights. When I can't sleep I sometimes start arguing with God and I tell him, he better makes it worth my while...hope you sleep better soon!

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  20. Andrew, thanks for your thoughts. Sorry you are having trouble at night. I can only imagine that this middle period of waiting is doubly difficult. Prayers for you!

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