ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT'S ME JILL?
In Stephen’s Hawking’s new and final book, “Brief Answers to Big Questions,” he writes, “There is no God. No one directs the universe.” He further adds,"For centuries, it was believed that disabled people like me were living under a curse that was inflicted by God," he adds. "I prefer to think that everything can be explained another way, by the laws of nature.” Of all the information Hawking’s presents in his last book, this one left me a little stumped. There’s many people who doubt the existence of God. After all, if there were a God, why would he allow all this suffering in the world, innocent lives lost due to school shootings, famine and disease. However, it’s by God’s grace things aren’t as bad it can actually be, because let’s face, it could get a whole lot worse, probably worse than we could ever imagine. I have a few friends who believe in the “Big Bang Theory” and science for the existence of man kind, but when asked can’t build a credible argument. One friend in particular, put God together with the easter bunny and Santa Claus. Interestingly enough, my atheist friends are the ones, who when faced with craziness are the ones who are quick to bow their heads in prayer. I do believe those who don’t believe in God are quick to ask God for help when faced with adversity. They obviously take a worldly approach to life and believe once we die we’re gone forever. Imagine this life being the only thing there is?
From since I was a child, I believed in God. I had more of a closer bond with Jesus Christ then His Dad, because Jesus seemed more approachable. I saw God as this giant being, creator of all great and wonderful things, who literally spoke the world and everything into existence, towering over earth the size of a gold ball. Not to mention, He only took one day to rest. To see the complexity of God’s work, take a walk outside and look into the sky. Notice the trees and birds, the flowers, the dirt, the clouds, even better, feel the autumn chill, taking tiny bites at your cheeks. That is God! “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Hebrews 11:3 He created everything, including the brain power and intellect of the great Stephen Hawking. It’s so apparent God is everywhere, yet we have this over inflated idea of who God is. The enemy puts all kinds of ideas in our heads to deter us from seeking a relationship with God. If we’re not feeling His presence then, He’s not with us. That’s false. If He’s not answering our prayers, then He’s not listening, double false. He’s a mighty, powerful God, who has a short fuse. My favorite is He’s the God of no fun. That’s dumb since He’s the God who wants you to enjoy your life in great abundance. Ok, sign me up for that!
Hawking’s quote of God’s non-existence left me wondering the likelihood of someone in the height of adversity, ready to end, coming across this quote on their iPhone notifications. Reading this quote likely further exacerbate further doubt. The feelings of giving up springs up a wave of relief, since a noted intellect in the world of science made a bold claim. “Since there’s no God, then there’s truly no hope for anyone facing hardship. I don’t mean it’s not wrong for anyone including Hawking to voice his opinion, we’re all entitled to it and live in a great country where we are able to do so, but what happens when such words facilitate a deeper pain that causes someone to reach their end? Falling on the ears of a non-believer or atheist who will high five all the other non-believers championing the non-existence of God, because Hawking said so, is jaded and perhaps, dangerous to say the least. In a time when we need something deeper, something tangible than materialistic possessions, degrees, stellar careers and mini-mansions, we’ve lost the mark on getting back to faith and dare I say, hope.
Given the place I was a few years ago, I thought about where I would be had I been an atheist. Psalm 19:1 says it best, “Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!” I imagine living a life, filled with corruptible acts because I wouldn’t have the faith and hope that kept me alive today. An ex-friend of mine, a self-proclaimed atheist, thought I was crazy to believe in God. She even blew off my Christian beliefs, with a snicker and the insulting eye-roll. She fell to corruptible acts and her actions were evil, leaving a trail of hurt to her loved ones. While she made a definite life altering decision that left a string of hurt, it’s my job as a Christian to treat her the way God wants me to, with compassion and always lifting her up in prayer. Of course, not all atheist do harmful acts, but she’s an example of someone who instead of showing respect for the opinion and belief of another, fell for the deceptions of the evil one. Sadly, there’s so many who fall for the deception and still find themselves in ruts without any elevation in sight. GOD IS LOVE! He defines love. His love for my ex-friend is unfailing and endures forever. Had she known the depth of God’s love, she would never, ever have to steal, kill, or destroy to get it. She would know when everyone leaves, He doesn’t. It’s beyond human understanding, which is why Hawking denied God’s existence and it’s why my ex-friend is still a lost lamb looking for love.