My husband and two oldest kids decided to take a trip to the beach one weekend a few years ago. We had a great time - went to the beach, slept in, ate seafood, shopped and visited the aquarium. I felt like a little kid again at the aquarium - it was absolutely one of the most amazing things I had done in a while.
While we were going through the tunnel with all the sharks, we came across this strange looking shark who was literally just plastered to the glass just above our heads and we just cracked up laughing because it looked like he was doing it on purpose - everyone was taking pictures of him and he just seemed to be smiling and soaking in all the glory. That's him you see in the photo!
I suppose he looked a little scary though, and as a little 5 year old girl strolled through the aquarium holding her daddy's big hand (ok, squeezing it until it turned pale white), she said "Daddy is it real?" He answered "Yes, honey, all of them are. Isn't it amazing?" In her innocence and fear, she cried out "No, Daddy! I don't want it to be real!" as if that would change it all and make everything become unreal. I still see the look on her face - absolute fear was written all over it and she was doing something I do quite often in life - denying the truth to make herself feel better.
Ever wish something wasn't true? Me too. I think we all do that. I've heard the saying (and have even said it many times) that "ignorance is bliss" because knowing something is true not only means we have to face that truth but also act on it. It's easier to bury our head in the sand and continue in life just the way we always did. It's easier to say "I don't want it to be real!" and just walk through life oblivious.
Or is it?
I used to think it was easier to pretend God wasn't real. That hell was some made up place and evil was something I could elude. But once I was faced with the reality that there is a God, I am accountable to Him, there is a hell and evil is unavoidable, I realized I had some decisions to make. Instead of wishing it all away and living in denial, I finally realized that ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is a choice I made. And it was not doing me any favors. So I started to search for Truth in the pages of God's Word - and I found it.
According to Romans 1:18-20, "God shows His anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made they can clearly see His invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God."
Then it goes on to say (vs 21-22) "Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship Him as God or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused."
I see so many folks trying to figure out God outside of the Bible, with supplementary writings by people who claim to know Him. Everyone wants a god on their terms. It reminds me of people who look for the perfect diet that allows them to eat whatever they want and not exercise. Hello?! Not gonna happen. It takes discipline, hard work and a healthy diet, no way around it. Everything else is a deception that usually takes our money right out of our pockets and even if it works for a little while, eventually, it will fail. There are no short cuts.
Then there are those that respond, "I don't want it to be real" and just say there is no God at all. If the sky is blue but I would prefer it not be blue, but green, would that change the truth that it is blue? Just because I say it's green does not make it so. It just is what it is.
God says "I am." He is making Himself known to us, and our denying He's there is not going to change anything at all. We must confront this at some point in our lives - every one of us. Pretending it is not an issue will not make it go away - it will only "suppress the truth by our wickedness" and I believe the wickedness that suppresses the truth that the bible speaks about is our stubborn, hardened hearts.
My prayer is that we all open our hearts and minds to the Truth of God's Word. I pray that hearts will be softened and penetrable. I pray we will all embrace it, learn, grow and walk in the freedom of knowing that God is real and He desperately desires a relationship with us through His Son, Jesus Christ's, sacrifice on our behalf. I pray we will take His hand, walk through this life and instead of saying "Daddy, I don't want it to be real" that we will say "Daddy, thank you for telling me the Truth - now show me how to live my life, holding tightly to Your hand."
Proverbs 14:8 The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.
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