Give me strength

Psalm 25:1-10

How can I trust in something I cannot see?

I have been asked this. Can’t recall by whom, but it was, I do recall, a ‘whom’ who was curious about my new found faith. After being an atheist for so long from age early teens to well into my late 30s, for anyone to discover I was a Christian must have been rather unsettling. Or, at the very least, surprising. I had always been so sure of the rational reasons for the non-existence of anything so crazy as God. The entire structure and shape of the cosmos did not require God and so there was no God. for sure, like all contemporary militant atheists I would helpfully suggest that there was no way to disprove the existence of anything numinous, but then, that certainly didn’t require me to believe in anything either, and so, I didn’t. No debate (well, actually lots and lots of debate, but that’s how I roll — it wasn’t a requirement of my atheism).

Hence the question. I, of course, still maintain that God is unknowable. That is however the core of my faith, not the extremes of my disbelief. That I believe in anything however, is certainly a major departure from the scientism of people such as Alex Rosenberg and others. Strong science requires no belief since the empiricism of Hume requires simply that I am able to demonstrate a reproducible model for the universe.

But that is entirely why the question is both pointless and profound. I believe in something I cannot see because my visual (and other physical) senses are so significant in my material life. If I could see God, then belief as we use the term today would be unnecessary. All the evidence I would need would be before me.

The psalmist puts his trust in the Lord because doing so unlocks so much in his life: love, forgiveness, safety and so many other aspects of life make so much more sense when we let God into our lives. The Good News is at hand. It is not always visible, but through trust and faith we can see its effects on the world around us. It may sound irrational. It may be irrational in so far as we cannot use science to demonstrate it. But simply letting it in, having deep and lasting commitment to God reveals so many good things. It strengthens and guides. Give me strength and hope.