The cost of my auto insurance is ridiculous. We recently added a second car (second hand and quite old) and we also added a teenager on the insurance policy. Of course the price of my insurance will go up. But double? My renewal is coming up and I can’t wait for an opportunity to start fresh and to renew.
Who isn’t interested in renewal? In second chances? New opportunities? For broken things to be restored? For things to be perfect. For life to feel like we’re hitting that bullseye every single time.
I’ve been sharing the three main reasons why I continue to believe even when I don’t (Intro, reason 1, reason 2). In this final post (at least for now) on the subject, I want to share the 3rd reason why I continue to believe. It has to do with the Bible. Not the Bible in and of itself, but the overarching, start to finish, main story of the Bible.
That story connects deeply with reality. It connects with my reality. I’ll call it my soul. It connects with my soul. Maybe you have a different word to describe the depth of your being. As I’ve noted before, there are certainly some things in the Bible that are challenging, strange, difficult to understand and downright disturbing. If we look beyond those things for a moment, we can see a bigger story. A story that makes sense with what we can identify as being true of us.
First, while none of us has ever been in a perfect world (although there may be moments where we feel like we were pretty darn close) we all have a sense of what a perfect world should be like. We may use different words and assign different degrees of importance to the things included in that world but we have some common themes. There would be justice and equality. There would be connection, peace and harmony. There would be a deep sense that we matter and have purpose. We imagine it as a world where things go right, as they should. Where there isn’t so much chaos, hurt, disease, broken relationships, emotional turmoil, etc.
Or maybe it’s just me?
I doubt it.
The overall story of the Bible connects those dots. It follows a creation (beginning), chaos, renewal and re-creation (new-beginning). We can get a simple birds eye view of what the plan was by looking at Genesis 1&2 along with Revelations 21&22. If we were to skip everything in between, we see a world operating within all the parameters we long for. It begins simply, in a garden, and overtime develops into a city. The image is one of natural, unhindered growth. Relationally, socially, economically and so on.
Everything in between, from Genesis 3 (referred to as the fall) to Revelations 20 (referred to as the final judgment), is story after story of things breaking down and God intervening to provide a way. In the Gospels we come across Jesus. Turns out he is the ultimate, once and for all, way forward. We’re told that all the efforts to renew things in the Old Testament pointed to him and can now be better understood as we look back and re-interpret through Jesus’ teaching. They were snippets of what could be. In the New Testament we learn that Jesus shows us God and that by looking at Jesus, we are, in fact, seeing God. He refers to himself as the way, truth and life. His teachings, actions and life add some weight to that. He had a Good News message of renewal, restoration. He spoke to our every day chaos in ways that those listening could understand and identify with. He showed the way forward, ultimately by trusting him, and promised that one day all things would indeed be made new.
The Bible speaks to our longings and makes a connection with our human spirit/soul/being.
It also speaks to the chaos that we all experience in reality. Chaos that is internal and external. Chaos that continually pulls us away from the things we long for and, sometimes, makes them feel out of reach. This chaos has different names and different degrees of intensity but we understand and experience it at many levels.
It proposes a way forward and ultimately promises that all things will be made new. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly happy to put my hope in that promise.
There you have it. 3 reasons why I still believe even when I don’t :
- I find it difficult to conceive of a world that is not at least in some way guided by an intentional and relational purpose.
- Jesus continues to intrigue me.
- I find in the Bible a story of redemption and things being made new that resonates with my day to day life as well as my longings for the futur.
How about you? Would you consider these 3 reasons sufficient? Do you have your own list?