Why Am I Here?

I’ve asked God that question a lot lately.

I’ve asked God that question a lot lately.

A little over 2 months ago, I was sitting in my cubicle at work, going about my daily work routine, when I got called to HR and was informed that I had been laid off along with several others, due to budget cuts within the company.

It stung me…not because I hold any grudge towards the company or anything, but because I had taken pride in the work I was doing there. I was good at my job. Along with that, I felt a sense of fulfillment knowing that I was making pretty good money there, helping to provide for my wife and two daughters.

It hurt me to know that all of that had been taken away from me through no fault of my own. What’s worse is that this wasn’t a unique occurrence…in fact, it seems to have become a recurring theme over the past few years.

My wife, who is incredibly supportive, held my hand, kissed my face, and gave me some advice that really threw me for a loop.

She suggested that I not rush back to work.

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After my initial shock and confusion, I got over myself and took the time to listen to her…which is ALWAYS a smart move.

She pointed out that she had also noticed the layoff trend, and that rather than viewing it as a string of “bad luck”, it would be best to see if perhaps God was trying to tell me something.

Okay.

Soooooooo…I’m all ears, Lord.

At least, that’s what I told myself. But the truth is, I spent the first few weeks doing more talking than listening. I bombarded Him with questions:

Why does this keep happening to me?

Don’t you care any about our financial situation?

Am I doing something wrong?

Are you punishing me for something I’ve done?

Lord, why am I here…AGAIN?

And God, being the loving and understanding Father that He is, didn’t answer ANY of  those questions…at least to my satisfaction. And it wasn’t until I stopped running my mouth that I began to understand why.

I had made the mistake of thinking that me being in this situation was a mistake itself…as if I had suddenly taken a wrong exit off the interstate and wound up in the boondocks somewhere…as if I simply wasn’t supposed to be here.

And yet…God knew I would wind up here. He could have prevented it somehow if He wanted to, right? So, the logical conclusion is that…

He wanted me here.

When I finally swallowed that difficult pill, I actually began to get some answers…one of which is that I should no longer view my job as my vocation. I’m beginning to see that the series of layoffs were simply God’s way of shifting my focus. Writing is eventually going to become the way I make my living…I sincerely believe that.

But, I believe the most valuable answer…or rather lesson learned…is that difficult situations in my life aren’t a slip-up on God’s part. He’s intentional about how He handles every aspect of my life…even the most trying times. The same God that leads me beside still waters will also lead me through the wilderness every once in a while.

Sometimes, God just wants me to be there.

And, now that I know better…so do I.

 

 

 

Of Course God Is Real…Isn’t He?

What real evidence do you have that God exists?

Science clearly proves that there is no God.

All of that stuff in the Bible is just fantasy.

The Bible isn’t reliable; it’s been misinterpreted, and it’s full of contradictions.

If God were real, why is there all this suffering and evil in the world?

If you’ve never been confronted with any of these questions or statements, get ready. The climate now in our society is uncomfortably biased towards an atheistic mindset, and is becoming increasingly hostile towards the Christian worldview.

Of course, those of us who’ve at least skimmed over the New Testament aren’t really surprised or devastated by this.

But the hard truth is, there aren’t really many of us believers who can give a clear, objective answer to any of the queries listed above. Honestly, most of what we say in response to stuff like this is based on our own personal experience with God. This is certainly valid in and of itself, but in the eyes of most hard-nosed skeptics, it’s irrelevant. They consider your personal testimony as completely subjective and therefore inadmissible as true evidence.

“Well…so what? Who cares what they think? I know God is real to me, and that’s all that matters.”

This is the easy way out, and one I fear that too many believers (myself included) are more inclined to take. Here’s the problem with it, though: you and I may feel secure enough in our faith to be unshaken by such opposition…

but what about our children?

What about the next generation? This generation who, from Pre-K to College, is being indoctrinated with the theory of evolution, and being blatantly encouraged to either reject God outright, or to embrace religious pluralism…in layman’s terms, to “COEXIST”? What about our kids whose iTunes are in many cases chock-full of music that is aggressively anti-Christ? What about our kids who are bombarded daily with social media that promotes just about everything that God forbids?

What about many of our kids who only know church…but don’t really know God?

Don’t get me wrong…I am in no way saying that we need to worry ourselves with trying to prove God’s existence; He’s real whether anyone believes it or not. But I do believe that we need to at least be able to speak to the hard questions that many people today have. And even more importantly, we need to prepare and equip our children, whose faith in many cases is shaky at best, and who could easily be swayed by just one persuasive atheist.

We are told in 1 Peter 3:15 to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear”. I believe that God is leading me, both as a father and as an aspiring writer, to get to the place where I can do just that, and also to equip others to be able to do the same.

So, for the handful of readers that I have at the moment, be on the lookout here and there for some blogs that deal specifically with some of the current obstacles to having faith in God…obstacles that we as believers can help many non-believers to overcome.