Even Hell believes in God.
Nothing in my own existence ever has made me doubt God’s existence.
For me He has always been in the superbly organized haphazard arrangement of branches in a tree, elaborately designed to ramble, outstretch, inspire rejuvenation in the spring, brag the splendor into autumn and brand extreme starkness to the winter.
For me He has always been within and beyond the immensity of creation and its tiniest demonstration. He has always been in the infinite and the momentary, the almighty and the fragile, the abundant and the desolate, the inexplicable and the obvious, the all-encompassing whole and the molecular detail.
For me He has always been in every aspect in everything and – when welcomed – in everyone.
Problem, though. I always have believed in God, but He has not always been received in me, making my belief little better than Hell’s.
Oh, man, we were going to run over it. We wouldn’t straddle it; we wouldn’t merely sideswipe it with a sidewall. One of our car tires – or maybe two, maybe three, maybe all four of them – right down the middle of the rubber was going to grind, pulverize my new MP3 player into the gravel and dirt of our driveway. There was no way we’d miss it, the tires were practically brand new, you know.
Hey, brand new? Maybe the player would catch in the relatively unworn tread and find 9/32 of sanctuary from MP3s being ground into MPzeros. Just like one of those little tread-hugging pebbles that Grandpas grumble about and pick out of tire tread with their over-sharpened pocket knives. Grandpas probably get more slow-leak flat tires from pocket knives than from pebbles.
“Sttttooooooooooooo- pah!” Throughout the Buick my scream reverberated as the driveway pulled in the front tires..
It was fitting that I asked for an MP3 player for Fathers Day this year. As I am legally blind, my right eye has been south of the border and shrunk to the size of pea-sized hail for some time. My left eye is holding steady most days just north of Amarillo.
So my daughter and granddaughter obliged. I loaded the player with 12 million minutes of music (all of it legal, thank you, I think) but, more importantly, with dramatized versions of the New Testament so I could study and listen, especially at night before falling to sleep. I read that listening just before sleeping helps your brain absorb more of the content. Maybe that’s why some irate wives try to convince their husbands of their errors right at bedtime.
Running late on this particular day my wife, granddaughter Savannah and I left the house for a visit to a local nursing home. So Savannah could listen to some of “her” music I brought the player. Maybe she’d stop complaining about my Jim Croce.
Getting into the passenger side, setting the player in my lap, I offered to drive. My wife said “No,” but I think she added something I didn’t quite catch. Now why does being legally blind disqualify me from driving a car? What’s the white stick for anyway? We tie it to the grill and off we go.
Anyway, just like every time we’re running late, one of us – all right me – forgets something.
“Go get it.”
I get out of the car. I grumble my way back to the front door – well, of course I remembered to lock it behind me this time – go inside … well, I get back to the car and as we pull out of the driveway …
“Wait a minute. I can’t find my MP3 player. We can’t go anywhere.”
Spinning the steering wheel she said. “Baby, we don’t have time.”
While we traveled I searched for the player all over myself, all over the car floor. I ran my hands along the edges of my seat, under the car seat, down under myself to ensure I wasn’t sitting on it. All that was found was a stack of letters tucked in between my seat and middle console.
When we arrived at our destination I searched for the player all over myself, all over the car floor. I ran my hands along the edges of my seat, under the car seat (somebody really oughta clean under there when they get the chance), and I asked my wife to ensure she wasn’t sitting on it. All that was found was a stack of letters tucked in between my seat and the middle console (somebody really oughta mail those letters when they get the chance).
When we left our destination – you really want to read that paragraph again? The player, not uncovered in the car, had to have fallen into the driveway.
“Sttttooooooooooooo- pah!” My scream reverberated throughout the Buick.
My wife parked the car at the beginning of our driveway and waited considerately and patiently while I got out, walked up the driveway and poked in the gravel with my white stick. What I found was not surprising: one quarter; a Mr. Goodbar wrapper; one of Savannah’s hair ties; something that used to be a frog. No MP3 player that had fallen out of the car, however.
I asked my wife to search. She neither could find the lost little MP3er in the car or the driveway. Grandma and Savannah left me outside to search some more.
“God,” I said to Him, almost childlike in manner, “I need your help to find the MP3 player so I can listen to the Bible before I go to sleep at night.”
“Look in the car again.”
What I had heard so many speak of but had never recognized it as an expression within myself was immediate, absolute, certain. A small, still voice whispered and I obeyed.
I opened the car door. I stooped. My head begged to go inside.
The very first thing I saw? The MP3 player that was not there before perched on top of the stack of letters.
“Thank you!” I cried out. I was elated.
I considered: Was I now holding in my hand something touched by God? Regardless, more importantly to both of us, I was touched by God.
Did God merely open my eyes – well, my eye anyway – to see the MP3 player? Yes, but merely is a poor choice of words. God opened my eyes much wider than what is needed to see an MP3 player.
For some time I’ve been trying to connect with God. I had supposed that I had seen Him work numerous times in my life and in the lives of others. This time, though, we connected. Not by way of the little miracle MP3 player but by way of promises and trust and obedience and fulfillment of promises. He promised, I trusted, I obeyed, He fulfilled.
Now what Hell believes, I do more than that – through Christ JesusI know God is eternally beyond just existent.
My expectations, my reading of the Word, my hopes – all in fragments - were cemented together.
It is now not just belief, not just Faith; but acceptance, recognition, acknowledgment and Grace, all within our hearts intertwining in Christ by way of my newborn love of Him, His forgiving care for me and a willing fellowship for one another. It’s what has always been there in God’s heart and what is finally in mine. Stepping forward to where He always was, I draw near Him, He draws near me and now I will know Him more the more I seek Him.
Four gb of storage when all I really needed was one mustard seed of faith.
7038 County Road 449
Hannibal, MO 63401