At Asbury Church, we started a new series called “The God Questions.” This past Sunday, we dealt with the question, “Is God real?” and Pastor Tom answered this question with a great sermon. I would like to offer an alternative way to answer this same question, which came to me during a family vacation at the beach this past weekend.
In case you didn’t know, I am a father of four awesome kiddos. Asher, Julianna, Ben, and Judah, who we commonly refer to as ‘Judah the Buddha,’ due to his big awesome belly. While at the beach, the kids were super excited about the ocean, waves and sand. Judah, however, was a little timid when it came to approaching the ocean and the crashing waves. Now, Judah is almost 2 years old, so we appreciate his apprehension and caution while on the beach. It makes watching him a little easier. I’m sure all the parents reading this understand exactly what I’m saying.
Although I wanted him to experience the ocean and waves, I didn’t want him fearful and upset. So, I held on to his hand and, together, we walked down to where the waves were crashing in and coming up on the beach. On his own, Judah would have been knocked over, and floundered for help. However, since I held his little hand in mine, he stood firmly, and felt the water rush past his feet and legs. Then, Judah reached his tiny hand down and felt the power of the ocean. He had a blast, simply standing there with me, holding my hand, and being near the ocean. Judah never got scared because dad was right next to him, and he knew I would never let go.
I don’t like to admit this, but I am just like my little buddy, Judah. In life, I need someone to hold on to when life keeps slamming into me. This is life though. Life seems to continuously slam into us like the ocean waves Judah and I encountered on our family vacation. Just being honest here, I like to think I am capable of getting through anything life would throw at me. However, once reality hits, I usually find out I am nowhere near strong enough to handle even half of what life deals me. This is one of the ways I know God is real. Every time life tries to knock me down, I somehow find the strength to remain standing. This strength isn’t something I muster up within myself. It’s a personal God, who is standing next to me, holding my hand and encouraging me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
In life, we will face issues, bad news, devastation, and everyday struggles. How do we get through all of it? I would like to suggest that it’s God who does the pushing, whether you acknowledge Him, or not. God is there holding you up and whispering in your ear to keep moving forward.
Let’s finish up by reading what David wrote in Psalm 34:15:
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
David wrote this because he experienced it firsthand. I love this verse, because I have experienced it firsthand. So, is God real? Yes. I have experienced his presence and if you would slow down, I know you will feel his existence also. God is close. God is real. God is the very reason we can keep putting one foot in front of the other each and every day.