Friday, May 9, 2014

Nelson Newsletter–May 2014

David Shirley’s Story


At an early age I began questioning some simple things. For example, why did I need to wear anything but pajamas, why couldn’t I play in the room with the nice furniture, and why couldn't I eat candy for every meal? As I got older, things started to make sense through explanations like culture (why no pajamas), finance (nice furniture was expensive), and science (candy diet..yikes). But, as I got into college I still could not answer questions that were beyond any human explanation: What would really happen after death? Is God real? Many times, these questions would even keep me awake at night.

I was raised attending church, listening to church music, and believing there was a God. But  as I got older, did it still not make sense. I started a full investigation of the things I believed. After about a year of reading the Bible, great philosophers, and historical books, I began to see things differently. The Bible (John 1:3) claims that all things were created by God, and without God nothing exists. An engine alone isn’t enough to describe a car. If God is the greatest and biggest of all things, then I can’t expect science or even my own intellect to be enough to explain or prove God. Instead of dismissing the idea of God, or questioning who God was, I began to ask what He wanted. The crazy part was, I found God only wanted me to love Him. Because God was perfect, I realized that I wasn’t. I had a tendency to make a mess of my life. I lied, got jealous, and the list went on.

But, God said there is a way for me to be free of my wrongs and be worthy to have a relationship with Him! God wants all people to experience forgiveness of their wrongs (sins) and believe that through Jesus’ we can be free from God’s judgment and our guilt, and can truly love God! (see 1Timothy 2:4 & John 10:9) Now, I know this could sound strange, but this free gift from Jesus changed my life and truly answered my questions about God!

Even questions like, if God is really good, then why is there: evil in the world, natural disasters, or people doing horrible things? Maybe you have faced these questions too. Here is a favorite quote I remember when I contemplate these questions.

“When we begin an argument with ‘Well, I wouldn’t believe in a God who would…’ Who would what? Do something that you wouldn’t do? Or think in a way that’s different from the way you think? Do you ever even consider the possibility that God’s sense of justice is actually more developed than yours, and that His love and mercy are perfect, and that you could be the one that is flawed?” Does it even enter your mind that maybe He knows something that you don’t? Or, is it always ‘I have this ability to reason and I have this level of morality, so something in Him must be off here and I won’t believe in Him.’”

I hope that my short story can give you some hope as you investigate your own questions. The good news is that there is a way to live without guilt, with purpose, and not trust in things that disappoint and will only disappear when we die. We must place our hope in Jesus and follow Him!

If you would like to chat more, please send me a text or an email! Thanks for reading!

- David Shirley

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