If God said that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, then the whale swallowed Jonah, and we do not need a scientist to measure the gullet of a whale. ~ A. W. Tozer ~
My early theology was built in play dough, Sunday School Songs and building blocks. I cannot remember a time when I wasn't involved at church. That faith of a child came naturally to me. "Aunt" Josie taught it and I believed. Granny sang it to me, and I believed it. Noah took all those animals in the ark. Of course. Moses and the children of Israel crossed on dry land. Uh-huh. Jonah lived three days in the stomach of a big fish. Right. I didn't question. I had faith that the Bible was true and right.
And you want to know something? I still believe it. I never question those things. I believe the Bible to be an accurate picture of the movement of God through His people on the earth. And if He said it in His Word, then I can accept that.
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Honestly, the fact that I am able to respond in that kind of faith is a gift of God. I question everything else.
What does the red sunset mean? Why do children have ears when they have no use for them? Does a triangle always have 180 degrees? (aside, non-Euclidean geometry was a favorite, and this was my prof's favorite question to confound non-class members) Can any politician really represent "main street"? How does anyone survive in this world without faith in God? (Actually I ask that one alot!)
I love the quest of knowledge. Logic fascinates me. I want to understand how things work. And I can really drive you mad with my questions sometimes (hmmm...maybe those children come by it honestly). But I find no need to question my faith. That's what makes it faith. It is accepted as truth.
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
(according to www.dictionary.com)
I'm thankful that my personality has allowed me to accept God easily, without hours of debating the authenticity of the miracles. That is not the case for everyone. I have a friend who has probably the most brilliant mind that I will ever encounter in day-to-day life. Incredibly logical. Irritatingly logical at times. Yet a few years ago he had a life-changing encounter with Christ. Since he is the type that would know off the top of his head what a cubit is, or how much fish a whale can swallow at a time, or any number of "facts" that could call into question the miracles, I'm sure that reading Scripture is somewhat of an adventure for him. But he comes with the same faith. Whether he knows that a whale's gullet is big enough to swallow a man, so God used an available creature (made by God btw) to teach Jonah a lesson or he knows that there is no way the whale could have swallowed Jonah alive but somehow God made that happen, he still must accept that the story has truth and purpose. His being logical does not stop him from being faithful. Instead it leads him to a point where he has more facts than many of us and he still chooses to believe God! That may be more faith than I can bring because he is coming to a place where all logic says "no" and he still believes "yes."
Whether you come today with child-like faith that says, "you say it I believe it" or you come with faith that encounters your logical mind and still believes or you come as Tozer saying that there is no need to question, the faith you bring is all you need. God only ever asks us to bring our mustard seed of faith. He grows it into what we need to believe Him more and more. Are you bringing Him your faith today? What is stopping you?
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20b
Father God, thank you for giving me people in my young life that would channel that child-like innocence and teach me about you. Thank you for protecting my faith from science and logic teachers that could see it only as something to ridicule. Thank you for giving me friends that show me that the path to faith may be different, but you are always the same. Help me to teach my little ones of You so that their imaginations and hearts may be captured by a faith that will sustain them through life. Amen.
Deborah is our hostess today at Chocolate and Coffee. Please join us for other interpretations of this great quote.