“God, if you are real, please show me.”
He was desperate. In prison. Hopeless. His life was a mess and he figured he’d give God a chance. If God even existed, that is.
So he prayed. And waited. And looked for signs of God.
There were no answers written on the sky. But slowly God brought people and circumstances and books to open his eyes. A random cell mate reading a Christian book from Christian Library International passed it along. Which led to a Bible study. And a mentor through CLI.
Soon he knew. Beyond any doubt. This God that he had heard about was indeed real. And had called him out of darkness into light. And the world would never be the same again.
As I listened to the speaker, now out of prison and serving in full-time ministry, I was both grateful and amazed.
Grateful that God calls us through no merits of our own. And that He uses people and circumstances and ministries to show us His truth.
Amazed that I had spoken those very words to God the night before He revealed Himself to me. My story was very different but my words were spoken out of desperation as well. Life wasn’t turning out the way I wanted. My days seemed meaningless. My many questions unanswerable.
God couldn’t be real, I had assumed. I had given up believing in God a long time before. There was little evidence of Him in my world.
My life had been difficult.
I contracted polio as an infant in India and lived in and out of Canadian hospitals for much of my childhood. I spent months on end living on a hospital ward, isolated from my parents, my sister, and my peers. By age 13, I had endured 21 operations.
While hospital life was lonely, it was less painful than the constant bullying that I experienced in the real world. Nearly every day I heard the word “cripple.” Through elementary and middle school, I buried the hurt of that teasing deep, yet it constantly whispered to me that I didn’t count, that I didn’t belong, that I’d always be an outsider. I learned to stuff my feelings, to please others, to be the good girl on the outside, but inside I was a self-absorbed mess.
I grew up in the church, but I wanted nothing to do with this God that I heard about. But at the same my life had no joy, just bitterness and anger. I knew something was missing.
So one night, in the darkness, I cried out to Jesus. I wanted the issue settled. I wondered, is God really there? So I simply whispered, “God, if you are real, please show me.”
My question was sincere, and I waited for a response. Some indication that I’d been heard. When nothing happened, I rolled over and fell sleep, my suspicions confirmed.
When I woke the next day, I wondered if I’d get an answer. I didn’t expect to. But to cover my bases, I decided to read the Bible. Reaching over to my nightstand, I pulled out an unopened RSV translation that had sat there untouched for years.
Flipping aimlessly through the pages, I read whatever passages my eyes landed upon. They didn’t make sense. As usual. Leviticus had weird rules and Chronicles had endless pages of names. I was about to put the Bible away, convinced that God indeed was not real, when I stopped to ask a question.
“Why did all of this happen to me? If you are so loving, why did I get polio? Why have I had to struggle my whole life? How can You possibly be good?” I thumbed through the Bible one last time looking for answers.
It fell open to the Gospel of John and I began reading at John 9:Continue Reading