I struggle with my faith often. I remember a quote from one of my favorite movies that perfectly encapsulates the struggle: “There are days when I believe. And others, where I have lost all faith.” Matt Murdock had it right in Daredevil. I know exactly where he’s coming from. There are certain days where I do not feel or see God’s presence anywhere. And it’s extremely frustrating when I am trying to find Him but can’t.
Then there are days like today. I woke up this morning, tried to steady my thoughts, and simply thanked God for another day. And I asked Him for strength. I do not remember if I asked Him to show Himself to me. But He did anyway. There are times when my mind is “unlocked.” Freed. Cleared up completely. And I can appreciate life with a greater sense of joy than I normally do. I can clearly appreciate the simple things, like the taste of scrambled eggs in the morning, or the smell of apple cinnamon oatmeal. And later after breakfast, I simply turned on YouTube on my TV, and listened to one of my favorite pieces of music. And it moved me more deeply than it has in a while. It’s sad and haunting for a while, but toward the end of the song, it feels brighter and hopeful. Take a listen:
How fortunate are we if we can appreciate the simple things in life like the taste of food, or hear our favorite pieces of music? Some people can’t taste food. Some people can’t hear. Some people can’t see. Some people can’t talk, and are imprisoned in their own bodies. That seems like a personal, private hell that I would never wish on anyone. And I do not understand why God allows such things. That is one of the questions I will be wrestling with until the day I die.
But I think God showed Himself to me in the form of gratitude. For anything. For another day. For being able to smell and taste food (even if it was instant oatmeal and scrambled eggs), and for being able to hear good music. He also showed Himself to me in the form of gratitude for my friends and family. I am grateful that my Mom, Dad and Sister are only a phone call or text away. I’m excited to possibly FaceTime with my buddies Tony and Michael tonight. Folks, just imagine: Three men with Cerebral Palsy just driving each other to laughing fits within minutes over anything! Sports and talking smack to each other since Tony and I are Browns fans and Michael is a Steelers fan, funny jokes, dating stories…the list goes on!
But I took things one step further: God does indeed show Himself. Sometimes through gratitude. Sometimes through the love of other people with a hug, kiss, or kind and encouraging word to lift us up when we feel down. Sometimes through wisdom or learning something profound. Sometimes through darker things, like forcing us to lean on Him through suffering, anger or pain. But He is everywhere. He is not a lifeless, “wooden” God created as a construct for society as some believe. They’re mistaking faith and religion. Those are two very different things. He’s not Santa Claus for adults. And He is not confined to the Bible. Yes, scripture is His roadmap for us, and I confess I don’t read it anywhere near often enough. But God is so much more. He is alive. In us. In others. In nature. In those times when we have the most unexpectedly profound thoughts that we know could not have come from us.
God is nearby. I just wish he revealed Himself to me more often. How do you find Him? How does He come to you? Feel free to chime in with a comment, or meditate on these things yourself 🙂