One of my former students texted me a few weeks ago and confessed that he felt he didn’t believe in God. He was struggling with faith and believed he was insignificant. That surely there was no such thing as God. If God existed, there wouldn’t be so much pain in the world. He also shared that he had been struggling with unworthiness and as a result, felt small. I told him I was so excited for him because these kinds of existentialist struggles usually mean that significant spiritual growth has a chance to follow. When we question if God exists, its a great starting point. If we can at least begin to believe in God, then we become open to the idea of God. All of a sudden, we can begin to see all sorts of amazing displays of God’s possibility and care in the world. That all of nature stands to show that there truly is a God, and that God is taking care of us all the time.
The Argument Against God’s Existence
Of course, as soon as one makes the case for God, all sorts of objections come up.
- How can there be a God if pain exists?
- Why would God allow evil to happen in the world?
- So many people kill one another in the name of God – Doesn’t God care?
And the answer is, yes this is all seems true – It’s hard to believe in God during difficult times. And it’s even harder to believe that God actually cares about us as human beings.
A long time ago, I had a boyfriend who was a devout Christian. I once went to him with the same confession of unworthiness that my former student (from above) felt. My boyfriend opened up his New Testament (which he carried around with him) and read to me from The Book of Matthew chapter 6, verses 25-30.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?…See how the flowers of the field grow…If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?”
What was lacking was not only my belief in God, but the faith that God would take care of me.
But the New Testament is not the only holy scripture which contains passages supporting God’s care of creatures. In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) we learn about God’s care in Genesis 28:15,
“Remember, I am with you: I will protect you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
In Arabic tradition, Rumi writes about God’s care as well. In Rumi’s poem “Cry Out In Your Weakness” https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7062162-cry-out-in-your-weakness-a-dragon-was-pulling-ai t says,
“Where lowland is, that’s where water goes. All medicine wants is pain to cure.”
I’m sure if I explored other world scriptures, I would find proof of this concept as well. But I have life experiences that support that God cares for us. We may feel insignificant, we may not feel worthy and that’s okay.
God Has Our Back
A few years ago, I took a canoe trip with my twins who were six years old at the time. Their babysitter had one twin in her canoe, and I had the other and off we went. The lake was particularly choppy that day and we soon found ourselves pushed out to the middle of the lake and despite our desperate attempts, we were not able to paddle back to our shore. We kept floating out further and further. I tried not to panic because I didn’t want to scare my children. But I really wasn’t sure what to do. I prayed and asked for guidance from God or “Good Orderly Direction.”
The babysitter suggested that we relax and let the wind push us wherever it wanted. We didn’t have to fight the current. My children were starting to get upset and I calmed them with the notion that wherever we ended up, we would find an angel to help us and that we didn’t have to worry. We had life jackets and weren’t yet hungry so we had everything we needed. About 30 minutes later, we were able to row to the shore. We were across the lake from where we had taken out the canoe. And sure enough, when we pulled our canoes in, a lady came over and helped us. She could tell we were tired and gave my children granola bars to eat and towels to use to dry off. We left the canoes on her beach and she drove us back to our destination.
Teachers and angels come in all forms and seem to show up just when we need them. Not always when we want them, nor necessarily in the form we desire, but they are there, right on time.
Ask For Help
Ask any alcoholic when they were able to get sober and they’ll tell you it was only after they finally asked for help – when they were open to it – that it came. Someone showed up or something coincidentally happened right on time. But was it really a coincidence or was it because we were finally ready?
We have to ask for help. And whatever form it comes, we have to be accepting of it. That is why I was so excited for my friend to admit his unworthiness. Usually that admission brings on the universe to rise up to help us. When life is easy, we have no cause for God’s help. We have no need to see the angels and teachers in our lives. But when we are weary and helpless, we can finally receive God’s help. And that goes back to the concept that God really does care for us. We don’t have to worry or be afraid, we just have to be patient and ready.
Have you experienced God’s care lately? Are you open to the idea that God actually cares for us? Let me know in the comments or drop me an email. And until we meet again, may you be blessed on your spiritual journey!
For further reading on this topic, be sure to check out these past posts: