God’s Not Dead

Today I watched God’s Not Dead. A compelling plot. I loved the courage of the college student, the bravery of the young woman who left a domineering and abusive relationship, the unwavering faith of the missionary, whose joy was simply contagious. Most of all, I loved… well, I’ll tell you a bit later.

First, I have to confess that the conclusion was a bit neatly wrapped for my pragmatic sensibilities. Not everything was resolved (I know) and I get why there is resolution in the main plot: it’s meant to encourage Christians to stand firm in faith, in the face of ridicule, abuse, even sacrifice. Still, I grapple with the realism quotient.

We humans are problems solvers, so we long for resolution. Yet in my life, this is not a daily reality. All is not finally and perfectly resolved. Life is unpredictable, even chaotic.

If I can’t have resolution, will I settle for assurance? Assurance that eventually, somehow everything is going to be alright?  I used to pin my hopes on the idea that all will be resolved if I “stay faithful”- until what I’d built my christian existence on evaporated, and my hopes for a nominal, normal christian life were shattered.

The song says, “Whatcha gonna do when the bottom falls out and you’re left with nothing but your fear and your doubt to hold you? Who will hold you?” (Francesca Battistelli, Worth it.)

And here’s the thing. The loss and the grief and the fear and the doubt are real, and at times, overwhelming. But we are not left alone in them. We are not left gaping, with hope only for an eternity in heaven. When my tidy christian existence was swiftly and summarily incinerated, do you know what was left? The presence of God. The chaff burned away; all those christian maxims and platitudes held no power, and the choice became: fall into the embrace of the One who is Hope, or hold him at arm’s length. I had nothing left to cling to but God, himself.  He was enough… and still is. 

 So what did I love most about this movie, God’s Not Dead? The question:  

Where do you find your hope?   

I know where I find mine. I do not have all the answers to all of life’s problems. I can’t prove to anyone that God exists. What I can share is my experience:
When my dreams were in tatters and I was at the end of myself, I cried out “Jesus help me!” and I found  myself cradled.

No judgement, no expectations, only unconditional acceptance and the purest, deepest Love I had ever known.  God is where I find my hope.

~Just Me

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