Thursday, 6 December 2012
ALL THE PROOF YOU NEED
Questions have played an important part in my life.
I have been asked many different questions by many different people. Some people seek immediate answers. Others hope to learn something from my experiences. A few questioned me simply out of curiosity. My friends often ask me questions are in my area of specialty.
But there was one question that I asked myself for a very long time: “Where does God fit into the system of electronics and nucleus of the atom, or the system of planets and stars and galaxies of the universe?” From this question came my drive to find some kind of proof for the existence of God.
My parents and grandparents brought me up in a godly home. Intense belief in God was expected. We all prayed seriously and participated regularly in spiritual exercises.
Then I became a keen student of science, and suddenly my faith in God was shaken! In my science classes I gained knowledge from lectures. In my lab hours I would experiment to see the proof of my theories. I learned to put my scientific thoughts and theories to the test. Then, I began to feel a need to test my religious beliefs. How could I worship God if I could not prove that He existed?
My parents advised me to read my Bible and pray regularly. But to whom do you pray when you are in doubt? Then I thought, “Suppose there is a God, and I do not pray; perhaps something bad might happen to me. It is best to pray to be on the safe side.” But I knew it was almost intellectual suicide to pray and at the same time deny the existence of God. The best way to pray, therefore, was to say in the beginning. “If after all there is a God, let Him hear.”
I continued praying and reading my Bible every day. One evening I came upon a passage in the Bible: “Unless you are born again, you can never get into the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). The term “born again” kept coming into my mind, among other things, and I began to concentrate on some math assignments.
But yet the issue of becoming born again kept coming back into my mind-along with various sermons I had heard on this topic in meetings and Sunday School classes, and the advice I received from parents and grandparents! I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I began to wonder if something was wrong with me. Why else would I find it difficult to accept the spiritual reality or God?
The funny thing is that I was right without knowing it. There was something wrong with me: my sins! I was trying to get the approval of my parents, relatives, friends and teachers, that I was leading a clean life.
I was like the pickpocket I had once heard about in a sermon. This pickpocket went to the bus station intending to relieve the travelers of their money. However, once there he found that all of his intended victims were guarding their pockets carefully, and he had no success. So he went home in the evening and said to himself, “At least I did not commit the sin of stealing this day.” True. But he didn’t commit the act of stealing, only because he lacked the opportunity! In his heart, in his intent, he had sinned already.
I, too, had often felt I wasn’t a sinner. After all, I hadn’t really done sinful things. But that night I realized I was a sinner. And I began to see that my inability to believe in God was rooted in my own sins. With this realization came another aspect. I needed someone to take away my guilt feelings.
I remembered learning in Sunday school that Jesus is able to clean up everything because of what He did on the cross. That night I knew I wanted to try Jesus. I decided to subject this offer of forgiveness and cleansing to the test of experience. How wonderful that in my search for proof of God’s existence, the first proof I discovered was the transformation that God produced in my own life. From that point, everything about me began to change.
I wanted to share with my friends what had happened, but I didn’t want anyone to misunderstand me. So I decided to go slow on making any public statement about this transformation.
It wasn’t long, though before I my friends noticed a change in my behavior. I overheard them talking to one another, saying there was something different about me, about my behavior, my attitude, and even the way I talked. I was thrilled! If my friends were seeing a change in me that meant my transformation had been real. After that, I began to share boldly about the entire experiment.
This became another changing point for me, the point at which I began to experience God’s love in my prayer life, my friendships, and attitude towards myself. It was a radical redirection of my motives and interests.
Several years later, I taught classes about the production of nontoxic and short-lived radioisotopes used in medicine. I told my class about the change occurring on a target material bombarded with neutrons in the nuclear reactor. Those who listened to me knew that I actually had first-hand experience with such reactor-produced radioisotopes. They knew that I was telling them something real and tangible. None of them questioned the existence of the radioisotope, because it is real and detectable. I was able to share my experience with confidence.
In the same way, I can also tell about another transformation that is even more lasting and real. The life span of those reactor-produced radioisotopes is small. But when you experience a spiritual transformation, you enter into an eternal relationship with God. This transformation is real, powerful, and never-ending.