“How can you prove that God exists?” my son asked as we headed down the Bruce Highway to Brisbane. “You can’t,” he reasoned. “You can’t just show Him to people!”
Having grown up in a Christian household with the input of a Christian school, kid’s church and church youth group, he was looking for ways to articulate his faith. He wanted to know how he could explain God to others; how he could make his non-Christian friends understand their need to know Him.
“Those who don’t know God are often unsatisfied with any answers we give to that question,” I told him, empathizing with his struggle for answers. “Those who have truly encountered Jesus, however, know without a shadow of a doubt, that God exists.”
I shared my testimony, recounting the way God drew me to Himself. I had come from a background in England of not knowing God and could not at the time think of any neat explanations about His existence that would have instigated my conversion.
However, God, in His wisdom, strategically dropped questions along my path to catalyze my search. He knew how to guide my steps to Himself.
God knows the intricacies of our hearts and understands the cries within. He works constantly to draw us close in ways that are unique to our own experiences.
I recently read the moving testimony of Chandu Ray*, a man who has inspired many with his passion for Christ. I found his search for God interesting as he grew up surrounded by devotees to religious practice and yet found no peace within their tenets.
He says, “I was born in a Hindu family. My lovely mother would gather us around her and tell us the stories of our gods and goddesses, our heroes and heroines. When I was 17, she asked me if I would like to go with her on some pilgrimages. I was thrilled to be invited to travel with her to all the sacred places of India – to the place where Shiva told the eternal tale to Parvati; where Krishna met with Arjuna, and the dialogue of Bhagwad Gita was enacted, where sacrifices were offered to the Kali Mata.
“Also, where Buddha did his meditations; to the sacred Ganges where the Yogis have worshipped for thousands of years, and to the place where the god of duty, Ramchandra, performed his penance.
“I was thrilled,” he went on, “but as I traveled from one place to another, I became conscious of an emptiness. I did not sense the presence of God; I had no communication with Him.
“When I asked my mother about this, she replied, ‘I know you miss reality, and I miss it too, but our holy books say if we do these pilgrimages we shall have a reward in the next life.’ Mother was in the evening of her life and passed away within 18 months of those Pilgrimages. I remained dissatisfied.
“I searched for communion with God in Hinduism, which offered me a million lives in which to work out my own salvation. Knowing I had no merit I found this a terrible prospect. I studied Buddhism only to find that it was an atheistic philosophy in which there is no hope of communion with God, only an agnostic belief in nirvana. I searched Islam which believes in salvation by works; on the day of reckoning, our good deeds will be weighed against our evil ones and whichever are greater will determine if we merit heaven or hell.
“Christianity was a foreign religion about which no one had spoken to me although I had lived in the city of Karachi for 17 years. For nine long years I wandered in the wilderness seeking for the reality of God. Then a Christian friend of mine had trouble with his eyes. His doctor told him he would operate in the hope of restoring at least some sight.
“As can be imagined, my friend was very much perturbed at the possibility of losing his sight. When I visited him he said, ‘I may never be able to read my bible again. Will you read it to me?’ I took his bible and opened it to the 14th Chapter of John’s Gospel. As I read aloud, I was amazed at the claims of Jesus – ‘I am the Way the Truth and the Life,’ – ‘He that hath seen me hath seen the Father;’ – ‘I am in the Father and the Father in me.’ And then I read the promise in verse 14: ‘If ye ask anything in my name I will do it.’
“I turned to this Christian friend and said, ‘This Jesus of yours makes such amazing claims, why don’t we ask him about your eyes?’ My friend and I both knelt by his bed and spent most of the night in prayer. That night I became conscious of the reality of God. I turned to my friend and said that when he returned from the hospital seeing, ‘I would follow Jesus.’
“My friend grasped my hand and asked, ‘Do you believe I will ever see again?’ I replied that I believed God had given me ‘my sight and his, too.’
‘The doctors were amazed to see that the tension in his friend’s eyes that they had seen the day before, had gone. He no longer needed surgery.”
Chandu followed Jesus from that day on. He later became the Bishop of the Anglican Church in Karachi, Pakistan, brought many to the Lord and taught on Evangelism to a worldwide audience.
I praise God when my children ask questions about God, I know that the work that needs to be done in their hearts must be deep so that they can stand strong in the midst of a multitude of worldviews and conflicting thoughts on inner peace.
I know that my answers must lead them to Him and that I cannot make their decisions for them. As they make a stand for their faith, their friends will demand answers about it, either directly or indirectly. It is in this arena of friendships that they will discover their strengths and vulnerabilities. How comforting it is, therefore, to know that God hears a parent’s prayers and that He has had His hand on them since before they were born.
Also that He is constantly at work to draw them to Himself.
*Testimony taken from “One Race, One Gospel, One Task” the official reference volumes for the World Congress on Evangelism – Berlin 1966
Bev Holmes-Brown resides in Brisbane, Australia with her husband Arthur and children. She has always had a heart for missions and founded Link-Zone, a Christian resource ministry in 2001 with the purpose of encouraging Frontline Christians through prayer and finances as well as personal involvement. www.Link-Zone.net. Her e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org