It seems I am drawn to blog after AWANA each week, and today is no exception. However, this week it comes as a result of the conversation that took place with the boys we work with while having bedtime snack.
The Bible lesson for the night had centered around the Last Supper, as we lead up to Easter in just a few weeks. One student asked how, if Jesus is God, does he talk to himself in the garden? How can God talk to himself, and why did Jesus need to go somewhere to pray (talking to God)? Tough question. The trinity is tough to put in everyday language. I always start with that, we are finite and God is infinite, so my best explanation will still fall short. But, I had to attempt to help him understand the trinity. I used the water illustration. Water is all water, but sometimes we see it as ice, sometimes water vapor, sometimes water. All still water. In a way Jesus is like a bottle of water, completely God, still everything that God is, but packed into human form. And, His existence didn't mean that God ceased to exist anywhere else. That seemed to help. I always have a hard time using illustrations to explain the character of God because He is so huge and no illustration accurately portrays Him.
This student I am pretty sure has a saving faith in Jesus Christ, and he continues to grow in his knowledge and understanding of God. However, another student listening in said, "I know God and heaven are real and all, but the only way we really know for sure is when you die." I said, "If you wait that long to know for sure, you will definitely know hell is real right away." Maybe a little abrupt, but we've talked about this before. I think he wants to believe, but he just can't. He needs some proof. I'm reminded of the story of the rich man and Lazarus. He wants a man back from the dead, but he's ignoring all the proof from Genesis to Revelation.
When everyone had settled in for the night, showers and snack done, ready for a good night's sleep, I called him back out. We had a good talk about faith and what it is. It is always awe-inspiring to share my faith, sensing the wisdom of God helping me choose the right words and scriptures to use. We talked about Jesus' perfect righteousness and His taking our place on the cross so we can enjoy eternity in heaven. He asked lots of great questions and listened attentively. I asked if he knew he had a great-great grandma? Yup. Never seen her, never talked to her, never even seen a picture or read a book about her, but he believed in her. But God needs some other proof?
We flipped over to Ephesians 2:8,9. I love those verses. Saved by grace, through faith. We're so powerless that even the faith to believe has to come from God. Nothing I can do, no bragging rites on the road to heaven. We talked some more. He knows what he needs to do. I prayed with and for him.
Please pray for this young man, too. He's got a lot against him in this world, and I pray that he comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and finds the joy of a life lived in total surrender to God. Pray as God brings him to mind, that he would have the faith to believe.