It had to happen.
My one and only child, Ella is turning fourteen and despite her exposure to better Christian education, her inquiring mind raises questions that only she can deal with, by reading and seeking the Living God.
The usual questions have already come up, and more besides.
" How do we know that God is there?"
" If God created the universe, who created God?"
" How do we know the other religions are not true?"
To break down what I've been reading and learning for the past four years during a casual conversation on the way to school in the mornings isn't easy. Specially when another point of interest distracts her from our train of thought during the conversation.
But it is quite a challenge.
Because not only is she asking valid questions and the hard ones at that, but also because most kids her age don't give a hoot about these things. At least in our part of the world anyway.
Worse, when we used to go to another congregation and belonged to a small group, she had to correct the facts of the small group leader, who was at least thirteen years older than she was and should have known better.
It was a situation like this that prompted us to find other Sunday alternatives that would help her grow in her faith instead of stunting it and frustrate her to the point that every time Sunday morning would come around, she'd cry and ask not to go to church - "Because it's the same darn thing all over again" That was more than five years ago.
This morning, Joy showed me a small piece of paper where she wrote in bold letters: God please help me. And behind it, in very tiny script, were her reasons. The first one was: "I'm afraid of becoming an atheist because of my doubts."
When I asked her what she thought an atheist was, she told me that it was someone who was doubting.
I had to correct her on that one. An atheist is someone who says that there is no God. And these days, they are the kinds who don't have good reasons for saying that. Most atheists I know here are either angry at the thought of God or they don't want God to exist because of the consequences of His being there.
We're walking through the discussions and we've settled the matter of the resurrection of the historical Jesus of Nazareth being a true and valid historical event, and the implications of that. We're working through how that validates the God of the Bible, as the historical Jesus has validated His claim of: being the Son of God, the validation of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to be true and that the Bible is reliable.
While I know that my daughter has all the resources available to her to strengthen her confidence in the Living God, only she can work through these issues and find the answers that she so desperately wants to find. I can only pray that she finds them soon enough.
Because she has already seen Him move in our past as a family. And she knows deep in her heart that He is there.
She probably wants her mind to validate what her heart knows is true.
When I think about how many similar situations there are all over our hometown, I wonder how these kids struggle through these issues, as I also know that most parents don't even have the answers themselves.
But are they looking for these answers? More importantly, do they think that these questions are even important?
I pray that they will consider them to be important enough to seek out the answers. Because we get this chance only once in our lifetimes. And we have to get it right.
I will not stop Ella from questioning. But I will also pray for her. Because I know that
when she will seek, she will find. When she seeks with all of her heart, soul and strength.
And the Living God will reveal Himself to her.