Last Sunday, my dad and stepmom came down to have lunch with us as they do every now and again. If I am to be completely honest with you, I treasure this time that I get to spend with him. As I was growing up, I saw my Dad twice a year. At Christmas, and on my birthday. As he has retired from the military and moved back to Illinois, I see him much more frequently and it is a blessing I am thankful for each and every time we get to meet. See, when you grow up missing the presence of one parent, you miss very important hints into your character and your genetic make up. I remember many times where I look at my mom and think, “in some ways, I am just like you. In other ways, I swear I was adopted. Where in the heck did this character trait come from?” But as I grow closer to my dad, I find that God has made a beautiful mixed up blend of both. I find that as an adult, I am thankful to find those mysterious character traits were not implanted by aliens, but instead from my Dad. I have his penchant for sarcasm, his body build and his analytic temperment. But one area where we agree to disagree is our belief in God. I believe. He does not. I don’t know why, or what his experience has been, but it does not prevent me from praying to God to break through to him on an intimate level.
So last week, we are sitting at my kitchen table and he picks up my bible and starts thumbing through the pages. He says, “I saw in the history channel that there are prophecies in the bible that were not in the original text. They were not placed there until AFTER the actual event happened.” I said, “Wow, thats interesting. Let me show you where some of those places are.” I flipped to a section in John that is spelled out in italics. Prior to the section, it tells you that this story was not in original text. To that he said, “Huh, well thats good, it should.” I agree. I proceeded to tell him about the Beth Moore conference I went to in which she spoke about John the Baptist. About the group of people that bible scholars believe he lived with after the deaths of Zechariah and Elizabeth. You see, this particular group of people poured over the book of Isaiah. For hundreds of years, this culture had not heard from God. He was silent. There were no prophets. Just the promises of the old testament. So these cave dwellers studied the scrolls of Isaiah over and over looking for this fore runner for Christ. It is believed that he landed right on their door step. Those original scrolls of Isaiah were found in our present times. Scrolls of the complete books. How amazing! We went on to discuss it a little more and moved on to the next subject, but as always, I found myself questioning, “God, did I say the right thing? “
I have taken the pressure off of myself to convert my Dad. I did that a long time ago. I don’t have that kind of power. My Dad is a facts and details man. Quite frankly, I could care less about the facts, simply because God speaks most powerfully to me when the facts dont always make sense. I guess you could say I have the faith of a child. But that’s when it hit me. I was straightening my hair when I thought, “Its on purpose!” You see, God says that just by looking all around us, we have the all evidence we need to believe in Him. But more important than that. He has given us the power of choice. I can choose to believe the wise people of the world. The people who say the bible is foolish, it has too many discrepencies, it cant be the truth. Or, I can choose to believe God. The one who says that he will reveal his secrets to his children. I believe that it’s on purpose that we have to choose. I believe its on purpose that he has left a little room for doubt. You see, it takes faith to fill up the gray area.
I emailed my Dad and told him I had done some thinking about the prophesies. And I told him that I had been chewing on our conversation. There may have been some changes to biblical prophesies and, if you choose to believe, inaccuracies in the text, but the fact that remains is this. Man was created with a sinful nature. That sinful nature seperates us from God. Every single one of us, no exceptions. He sent his son to die on the cross. The choice is this- Do you believe it? Really believe it? The unchanging message of the bible is that we have a choice to believe or not to believe. Because if you don’t REALLY believe it, you will still remain seperated from the one who promises life. I know what I have chosen. How about you?
I will continue to pray for God to reveal himself to my Dad, but I will not carry the weight of his salvation on my shoulders. That’s his choice. In the meantime, I will continue to plant and water seeds whenever he will let me. And he is starting to let me. I will trust God to do an amazing work in his life when the time is perfect.