If you’ve talked to me in the past month, you probably know that I had a lot of inner turmoil from doubts and questions around my faith. I felt disoriented as I read The Bonobo and the Atheist and had discussions around the subject of science and faith (see When Science and Faith are Compatible and The Underlying Questions for details).
My prayer during this time was, “God, I don’t need all of the answers, but I do need you to show up.” There are probably a lot of things wrong with this prayer, but God in his mercy answered it any way. In the span of a week, many unexpected people emerged and spoke directly into my situation without even knowing it. When I was at my lowest point, my boss Dan texted and then called me to pray for me and schedule a time to get together and talk. My spiritual director Janice McWilliams also texted me at that moment asking if I wanted to make an appointment. Later in the week, a beloved pastor and friend happened to be in town and he spoke to us at our area team meeting, directly to my doubts and confusion. Dr. Peter Payne of the Institute for Credible Christianity spoke at our Large Group that week. I had no idea who he was or what he was going to speak about (in fact, to be honest, I was expecting it to be terrible), but he intelligently spoke to my questions about God and morality. In church on Sunday, the sermon at my church was very relevant as the pastor talked about God showing up at Jacob’s lowest point. It culminated with Ravi Zacharias speaking at Hopkins. I had the privilege of eating breakfast with Ravi and his partners Nabeel Qureshi and Vince Vitale, who all spoke into my doubts and questions around God, morality, death, and suffering.
God answered my prayer with overwhelming abundance! More important than any of the answers or direction that I got from these people is God’s obvious answer to my desperate prayer. I still don’t have all of the answers, but I have peace and hope.
Now, of course, all of this could just be coincidence. It could be that all of these encounters were going to happen any way, and I was just more aware of them because I was more invested. But in this case I don’t think so. I think God showed up for me, and for that I’m thankful on this Thanksgiving!