I Know Him

I care about defending the faith I have in Jesus Christ, both logically and personally. Not in the “Ha! You are wrong and I am right!” way. I don’t want to make anyone feel stupid – no one wants to feel that way, including me. It’s more in the sense that I like Him and want you to like Him, too. There are many logical defenses I can give for the existence of God, the universal need for salvation from sin and death, and that that salvation is found in the God-Man Jesus, from Nazareth, circa year 33. However, I find a different initial response stirring in my heart and eventually coming out of my mouth when anyone asks me (and sadly, people seldom do) or even when I ask myself, “Why do you believe in Jesus? Why do you base your life on Him? How can you be sure there is a God?”

I believe that Jesus is who He says He is – namely, God – because I know Him. That’s my answer. I can tell you what He’s done in my life, about our interactions and our conversations. Let me attempt to explain why this will have to be enough for anyone asking.

When you meet someone, and hang around them a bit, converse with them from time to time, and maybe even become good friends eventually, you can say you know him or her. You may not know everything about that person, but you know him. When people ask, “Do you know so-and-so?” you will say yes (unless you are for some reason ashamed of having met that person and/or you are a liar).

You see, you can’t un-know a person. Not really. Life is not like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (though I’m sure many of us wish it was). Unless you suffer from serious amnesia, you can’t logically deny the existence of a person you have known in the past or know in the present. There is history between the two of you, most likely involving many other witnesses.

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eternal-sunshine-of-the-spotless-mind-brain-damage-procedure

Well, technically speaking, the operation is brain damage, but it’s on a par with a night of heavy drinking. Nothing you’ll miss. – Howard, ESOTSM

That is the way it is with Jesus and me. We have history that I can’t erase. Others have witnessed our interaction and how He has helped me grow as a person. If you haven’t met Him, or if you haven’t witnessed me relating to Him, it is easy for you to deny His existence. And I can’t make you pull up a seat as we sit together for coffee and meet Him too. Just like with any other person. Your knowledge of Him will match your desire to meet with Him.

I do believe President Obama and Kim Kardashian and Reba McEntire (very odd grouping, I know, but they were the first three celebrities that popped in my head) exist, even though I’ve only seen their faces in small boxes called TVs and computer screens and pieces of paper called magazines and newspapers. But what right have I to say I know them, to truly make an assessment of their character, if I haven’t spent any time around them, interacting with them? I do have a clue, however, of who they are by their words and their actions which I observe. If you think about it, it actually takes some faith to believe in anyone or anything we haven’t seen with our own eyes and touched with our own hands, but have only heard about and seen from a distance (celebrities and all of history, for instance).

Prompted by a Q&A book she has, my friend Sarah and I were discussing the question, “What is your theme song?”. Like, if your life had a theme song, what would it be? It’s difficult to pick just one, as our lives are pretty complex. But the following is one of mine. It’s called “He’s Always Been Faithful” by Sara Groves.

Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me 

Morning by morning I wake up to find 
The power and comfort of God’s hand in mine 
Season by season I watch Him, amazed 
In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways 
All I have need of, His hand will provide 
He’s always been faithful to me. 

I can’t remember a trial or a pain 
He did not recycle to bring me gain 
I can’t remember one single regret 
In serving God only, and trusting His hand 
All I have need of, His hand will provide 
He’s always been faithful to me. 

This is my anthem, this is my song 
The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long 
God has been faithful, He will be again 
His loving compassion, it knows no end 
All I have need of, His hand will provide 
He’s always been faithful, He’s always been faithful 
He’s always been faithful to me.

Like Sara has experienced, God has always proved Himself good, true, and faithful to me. Even when I’m kicking and screaming out against Him, wanting my will and my way. Even when I run away from Him. Even when I’m tired of knowing Him (an impossibility, but I talk myself into believing things would be easier on my own…ha!). Relationships are messy, after all. We ain’t robots.

To say I don’t believe in Him anymore or am struggling to believe He is real some days is to deny things that have already happened, conversations and interactions that were real. I can’t tangibly prove to you I had lunch with my friends Michelle and Jessa last week, nor can I prove I have a relationship with Jesus and I talked to Him this morning and am talking to Him now. You have the right to say I am lying or crazy about both situations.

You’ll have to take my word for it. But more importantly, I would invite you to peer into His. He will readily introduce Himself to an open mind and an open heart.

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