Ready to Die for My Truth
The trials we have gone through were there to make us stronger, to help us develop patience and wisdom, and draw us closer to God.
It is through our trials that we see his faithfulness, his love and his almighty power. God does not create our tragedies and sorrows. Unfortunately they are part of life. But he does use them for our benefit. And he does help us find a peace that is greater than the pain. He will carry our burdens and give us refreshment and a chance to rest.
“What I really lack is to be clear in my mind what I am to do, not what I am to know, except in so far as a certain knowledge must precede every action. The thing is to understand myself, to see what God really wishes me to do: the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die. ... I certainly do not deny that I still recognize an imperative of knowledge and that through it one can work upon men, but it must be taken up into my life, and that is what I now recognize as the most important thing.”
—Søren Kierkegaard, Letter to Peter Wilhelm Lund dated August 31, 1835, emphasis added by Maralexa.1
Soren Kierkegaard, posthumously regarded as the father of existentialism, insisted that each individual has the sole responsibility for finding meaning in his own life despite the circumstances of his life.
Further, that each individual is not required to believe what others around him believe unless he chooses to internalize the beliefs himself. Nor is he required to hold something as an authority in his life (the Bible, for example) until he authorizes the Bible to be the authority in his life.
The experience of authorizing the Bible to be our source of truth is internalizing our beliefs, and sharing this experience with others is expressing our faith.
Some feel it is ridiculous to believe something without evidence while others feel that being able to take a leap of faith is a virtue because they believe that people make decisions not based on logic and rationality but based on the meaning of the decision to themselves.
Life would not be life if we sailed through it without a few bruises and scars. Life without difficulties and challenges would not be worth much to us either.
How would we recognize success if we had not known failure, even mediocrity? And an easy-going, smooth-sailing life without bumps would not be worth anything to God. We would not be refined, purified, and strengthened. We would be coarse, crude, a raw canvas, an unmolded piece of clay. We would be unconcerned and insensitive to the fullness of life. And we could not possibly be discerning and perceptive enough to contribute meaningfully to another’s life. By enduring heartache and great difficulty, misfortune and distress, God makes us more and more like Christ. We are able then (and only then) to help others
It is not uncommon for a person who faces a tragedy or is in a desperate situation to cry out to God. Whether we believe in God or not, we almost certainly call upon him to save us from the most terrifying, painful or most overwhelming circumstances when they happen to us. An example of this is during war. If you are alone, in mortal danger and can not get to safety you may call out to God. It seems like the only thing left to do.
Many of us, whether we believe in God or not, will beg him to remove the crushing burden we carry, the devastating pain we feel, or the terror we may suffer when facing possible death. We may bargain with God, promising to do something or be something or give something if only he will help us now. We want out of the painful circumstances we face. We want God to wipe away the pain and anguish and we want him to erase any mistakes we may have made to bring this on.
God doesn’t force himself on us. He will wait until we call on him.
For believers, it is not wrong or a sign of our mistrust or disbelief in God when we cry out to him in our pain. He wants us to cry out to him, to have the kind of relationship with him that allows us to ask, to plead, to yell in anger and confusion. We know we can be this way only with someone we trust, someone who won’t reject us for expressing our hurt, our fears and our angers. More than anything God wants a close and intimate relationship with us. He knows we don’t understand his ways – they are so much bigger, grander than we can grasp or imagine. When we can’t understand why God would allow something so painful, so obviously wrong, so hideous to happen, it seems impossible or undesirable to have this kind of a close relationship.
We may ask ourselves, “Why wouldn’t I prefer my own counsel and companionship to that of a seemingly capricious god.”
If we don’t believe in God we will wait until we have reached the bottom of ourselves. When we see nothing else to do to rectify our miserable situation and when nothing changes despite all our own efforts and clever choices, we may then turn to God.
So, for some, it’s a case of: When all else fails—Call on God—He will be waiting. And he promises us marvelous things for trusting in him.
1Kierkegaard, Søren. The Essential Kierkegaard, edited by Howard and Edna Hong. Princeton, 2000
Note from the author:
Kierkegaard has helped me appreciate the power of my belief in God. When I choose to internalize my beliefs in God and what is said in the Bible, it is I who chooses to make God and the Bible my authority in life. The act of internalizing my beliefs in God is as strong for me as "seeing" evidence or proof that God exists.
This is the truth for which I am prepared to die:
God exists and is the authority in my life because I choose to believe he is. This is no longer a "leap of faith" for me but an internalized belief that is as strong as "rational" evidence.
2011-2013; Maralexa, Marilyn Alexander, MBA. All rights reserved.
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