The Melancholies

I could hardly make myself get out of bed this morning. John called me around 9:00 and I said, "You're not going to believe this but I have only been up for about fifteen minutes." I am always up between 6:30 and 7:30 at the latest. But this morning I just wanted to go back to sleep every time I woke up. So I did.
Both Marian and I were battling a light case of the melancholies this morning. But we got over the hump together. We have had many heart to heart talks in recent months and I am always reminded of the many reasons I love my mother-in-law so much. I have always appreciated that she loves me just the way I am. And she really does.

When she went back upstairs to rest, I worked out on my stairmaster and then finished a book soaking in the tub with a cold glass of orange juice. My big spa tub filled with the hottest water I can stand is my favorite spot to relax. And whenever I have the time to go to "my spot," I go. I stayed extra long today.

The book I finished was "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist." And, as is often the case for me, the part of the book I read this morning could not have been more timely. Toward the end, there are several conversations between an atheist and a Christian on several subjects. One of them focused on why God allows evil and suffering. I doubt that any of us, even Christians, have not wondered at some point in our lives why God allows certain things to happen as they do in this world. Because my belief in God and His love is strong, I have never felt like I had to have answers to all my questions. I haven't felt the need to make God fit into my finite mind. I trust. And I suppose it helps that, by nature, I am a trusting person.

As I've shared previously, I bought this book because I haven't ever wrestled with believing and yet I know others do. I wanted to learn more of the actual evidence for the historical accuracy of the Bible and Christianity. There is so much more than I was even aware of. I have always believed that faith doesn't require evidence, but after reading books like this one and "The Apologetics of Jesus" by Norman Geisler, I have discovered just how much evidence God HAS given to us. Dr. Geisler makes the point in "The Apologetics of Jesus" that Jesus never asked anyone to blindly believe.

So as I read the "debate" in the book on suffering, I wasn't questioning God in my own heart. But the things I read still spoke to me and strengthened me. On the subject of suffering, the author (speaking as the Christian in the conversation) said...

Christian: Can you name me one enduring lesson that you ever learned from pleasure?
Atheist: Give me a minute.
Christian: I could give you an hour; I doubt that you would come up with much. If you think about it, you'll find that virtually every valuable lesson you've ever learned resulted from some hardship in your life. In most cases, bad fortune teaches while good fortune deceives. In fact, you not only learn lessons from suffering, but it's practically the only way you can develop virtues...
You can't develop courage unless there is danger.
You can't develop perseverance unless you have obstacles in your way.
You won't learn how to be a servant unless there's someone to serve.
And compassion would never be summoned if there were never anyone in pain or in need...