I overheard a conversation in the library the other day that kind of stopped me in my tracks. We were in the children’s section and there was a cute button-nosed brunette girl checking a book out with her mom. I didn’t hear the entire conversation, but they were trying to figure out what we were celebrating when we celebrated Easter. After some discussion, they finally came to the conclusion that Christmas was Christ’s birth and Easter had something to do with His death or “something like that”. This scrambled conversation initiated by this innocent child instantly brought my mind to two questions: 1. How did our society get to this point? 2. How do some not believe?
How did our society get to this point?
I believe we are where we are because of the easiness of the way. When people are abundantly blessed and don’t have to rely on a higher power, they soon forget who feeds them so to speak. When we were in Haiti, almost every person we had a conversation with mentioned that we were sent there from God. Many said they had prayed us there. Over and over again, they gave the glory to God. These are people that need God and His miracles to sustain them in their most basic needs. Forgetting Him is not an option.
The first full day we were there was Sunday. After sleeping a full night’s sleep in a comfortable and secure place, we showered, filled our bellies with delicious food and our money belts with money and necessities, and hopped into our air-conditioned van and were off to church. I will never forget what I saw on our drive to church. We passed scores of people walking up steep roads (there are no sidewalks) to get to church. Many small children were walking with upstretched hands, holding onto an older sibling or parent’s hand to stay safe from the unruly, and out right crazy traffic. I know for a fact that their bellies weren’t full, and their night’s sleep was completely different than ours. After I got over the shock of this beautiful, yet heart-wrenching picture, I was drawn to their clothes; they were all in their best Sunday dress. Honestly, most of them, if not all of them, looked nicer than we did. They had dressed for the occasion to worship their God.
That day I learned a very powerful lesson from these faithful people; humility, sacrifice and faith are intertwined. When we are humble we rely on God, when we rely on and love God first we sacrifice, and when we are humble and sacrifice, our faith grows.
I remember leaving Haiti wishing that I could bring home bits and pieces home with me. Although they are destitute in so many ways, they are rich in ways that I find our society destitute. We can’t forget our God because the easiness of the way. We have been blessed with so much, which means we have to make an extra effort to stay close to Him…to need Him!
How do some not believe?
My first thoughts went to the logical things; our history, multiple holidays, and even our time, are based off of Christ’s birth and life. How could those world changing historical events, all the sudden not be true? We are currently living 2016 years after Christ was born. It’s an incredible and real piece of history.
We’ve recently had some close friends forsake their belief in Jesus Christ and God and now claim to be agnostic. As their faith was being tested I was praying with all I had that they’d feel and see the truth and know (again) that God was real. I remember one particular night as I was pleading in prayer, I had a distinct thought and feeling that He couldn’t do anything because they had to want to believe. They were searching for God to not be real; they weren’t searching for Him to be real. In that moment I knew that no prayer was going to be powerful enough to pull them back, they had to choose that path themselves.
The day my husband told me they had decided to forsake their belief in God, I could not stop crying. I felt so deeply and knew without doubt that God was real and I wanted so badly for them to feel and know what I did. Unfortunately, that’s not what they were searching for.
Our love for these friends is still the same. They are incredible people and I love when we get the chance to talk. I hope their lives are filled with happiness, but I find myself fearing for them. I worry that they made their decision to abandon their God when the way was easy, when they didn’t need Him. What are they going to do when they need a higher source to make it through another day, or through a tragedy?
I’ve heard over and over again from those that stop believing that they “feel better than they have ever felt” now that they aren’t going to church. My internal response is “of course!” You no longer have to meet obligations of sacrifice, commitment, selflessness, and service that are not on your terms, now you can do it all on your own terms, of course that feels good! Doing things on our own timeline, when we want and how we want, always feels good in the short term, it’s the long term investment of that route that doesn’t turn out so great.
I still pray for my friends and for all those struggling with their faith in God. It’s a real battle that is not easy, but I will say without hesitation, it’s worth the battle.
Don’t forsake your God, He won’t forsake you
Jesus Christ already paid the price for us; his Atonement and Resurrection are complete. It’s up to us now if we’re going to utilize His priceless gift in our lives. Christ will never forsake us; the question is will we forsake him?
Do we spend any time in our day learning about, praying about, or studying about His life and ministry? What are we studying? Do we sincerely want to believe?
Don’t wait until times of tragedy strike. Believe now. It’s an easier path.
I hope that sweet brunette from the library learns more about the importance of Easter, Jesus Christ, and the miracle of His Resurrection at some point in her young life. On this Easter weekend, I hope we can all remember what we are celebrating. Christ broke the bands of death for you and for me. After death and sorrow, He rose again!
God and Jesus Christ will never forsake us. Let’s choose never to forsake them!