Several years ago I had a crisis of faith. It all began with a Science Channel television program on supermassive black holes, of all things. Basically the premise was that scientists have discovered giant black holes (like the size of an entire solar system) in the center of every galaxy, and each plays an important role in the creation and sustainability of its particular galaxy.
The scientists described the extreme order of these black holes in the whole universal space-time continuum and how it’s forced them to rethink physics. The narrator, summing up several scientists, said, “If, as it now seems, every single galaxy has a black hole at its heart, this can’t be a coincidence.”
You got that right, I thought. It’s called—we’ve got a supermassive, supergenius Creator at work in the universe.
Then the screen exploded with all these multi-colored, multi-shaped, multi-gaseous galaxies. And my brain, for an instant, exploded with how awesomely vast and mammoth our God is. My finite brain couldn’t handle the size and power and strength of my Creator.
And in that instant, I felt thrust into my own black hole that was very dark and desperate.
Wait. How can this God possibly know anything about me? I thought dumbfounded. There’s no personal relationship with him. Come on. He’s busy creating galaxies. How presumptuous of us humans to believe God sent his Son to die for us—we’re much too insignificant in the whole of the universe.
I thought Thomas Jefferson must have been correct in his religious convictions. He believed that God was like a watchmaker: he wound up the universe (or in our case, the earth and life on it), and then let it run its course without his interference while he was off creating other worlds.
I never stopped believing in God; I just began to think that God was so giant that he would never be personally involved in my insignificant, irrelevant life.
I began to walk around in a daze, spending my days at work writing about God, but not sure he was who I was claiming him to be. It became so overwhelming that finally I began (daily and purposefully) to sit quietly with God, just focusing on him. Ironically it was in my crisis of faith that I discovered the spiritual discipline of contemplation.
Who are you, God?
Every day I sat with my hands open, looking up to the heavens, and asking God to show up—if he was, in fact, who I’d always believed him to be. And the longer I sat, clearing my mind of the doubts and arguments, the more I realized he was showing up. Over the course of several months, I continued awakening to God’s presence and he began to press upon my mind irrefutable truths. He reminded me that although he created supermassive black holes, he also created amoeba. And male parasitic wasps, which measure only 139 micrometers in length. He created microbiology with all its clear and direct order.
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