Y O U are the proof.

Lacking evidence that God exists? Struggling to believe The Bible? I have some news for you:

YOU are in fact that evidence.

Now you may be thinking:

“Whaaaat? How is this possible? That’s a really difficult concept that I don’t have time to think about right now…or ever.”

WELL THEN I HAVE GOOD NEWS FOR YOU: I did the thinking, wondering and questioning for you. As a result, I have decided to compile all of the evidence right here. I reduced it into a series of questions that double as answers (yes, that’s a weird paradox- but just think about the questions and you’ll see what I mean):

  1. What other creature on this earth creates NEW things?

A beaver builds dams and only dams. It does not innovate radically different designs. Each innately strives for the same simple goal without much variation. Since when did humans ever strive for ordinary? We are constantly finding ways to make things better and easier. We want NEW and extraordinary. If you think about it, animals like beavers really have not changed much in terms of their own creations. And while some things that animals create could be perceived as art to us (see http://www.care2.com/causes/5-animals-who-make-art.html for art created by animals as a result of mainly captivity), the idea that animals enjoy aesthetic art like humans do has little evidence to support it.  But we were CREATED TO CREATE…because we were created in His image.

//So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.// Genesis 1:27

  1. What other creature on this earth strives to cover itself up?

Have you even seen an animal get embarrassed by exposing something? If you have, please let me know because that would be rather shocking. My opinion on this is that humans have the shame of sin to cover and animals don’t…because God didn’t create them that way. He created them without free will. They exist, but no so much for a purpose other than a beautiful showing of God’s power through the beauty and complexity of nature. As a result of free will given to us by God, we have the gift of choice. We CHOSE to disobey God in order to know good and evil. Animals never had that kind of power. This is because only humans were created in God’s image to make such choices. We were also given dominion over other creatures by God to take care of His other creations:

//God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”// -Genesis 1:28

  1. What other creature desires a spiritual connection more than a physical connection?

Now I know that I can’t speak to animals. That isn’t my field of expertise. But I did do some research. Based on my findings, there is no evidence that animals are or have ever been religious. And if you think about it, when was the last time you heard of animals putting on ritualistic ceremonies to connect with something higher than themselves? Their communication, based on what we know about their interactions, is focused on the physical: survival of self or survival of the group. In contrast, humans all throughout history have shown a significant interest in establishing a connection with some type of higher power. Animals don’t seem to build temples. They build homes for themselves, not something unseen.

  1. What other creature adjusts itself to a new climate without the impact of an external force?

Animals don’t willingly leave their familiar climate simply to “see the world” or “push themselves out of their comfort zone”. We typically move as a result of internal motives, not external ones. For example, if we have a dream to drop everything and move to Hawaii, we could do that likely NOT because our survival was being threatened in Georgian suburbia (well this is debatable if we are talking survival of sanity on occasion lol), but because we simply WANT to for personal reasons. And despite animated movie portrayals, few animals decide to leave the pack out of “teenage rebellion.”

Looking at all of these answers, the biggest difference here seems that other creatures live to survive. Humans live to THRIVE. We look at our surroundings and see greater potential for it. Every human culture in history developed innovations based on the resources available to them. We don’t just want to “get by” in our environment. Throughout every generation, it is clear that humans wanted MORE than just existence.  While animals typically seek power and survival, humans want power and purpose.

All this goes to say that:

Y O U are different.

Y O U are special.

Y O U were created on purpose, FOR a purpose…because:

Y O U were created by THE Creator.

Y O U were also created in the IMAGE of The Creator…meaning that:

Y O U were created to create….beautiful things…beautiful stories….made to display His glories.

Y O U are no accident.

Y O U are important.

Y O U are His design….not the world’s to decide.

Y O U are the evidence of His fingerprints.

Y O U are the proof.

Titanium Trust (Part 2 of Titanium Series)

A common misconception that unfortunately exists in this world is that trusting or depending on something or someone else for strength is a sign of weakness. “Be yourself “ is starting to translate to “be completely independent”. People are often told that the only way to be truly successful is to know who you are and to never become dependent on handouts or other people. Now, I do agree that relying on handouts or others for everything is not a good way to live life. Being able to support yourself through hard work and dedication is extremely important. However, what I do not agree with is that people often take this statement as a justification to eliminate God from their life. It is so easy to fall into the pit of “I am strong enough myself” or “I don’t need anyone or anything but my own motivation, strength, talent and will to succeed”. Acknowledging that you are weak, human, and broken can be a very humbling experience. But it is a necessary experience. We need to be reminded that we are NOT super human. We CAN’T direct events in the way of our liking. We CAN try to take control. Sometimes it works out great. However, other times it just does not. That’s the problem with leading our lives in an isolated state. There are so many variables that are unstable. There is nothing to hold on to in the world that we can rely on or trust. When the ground becomes shaky beneath our feet, what is to happen? If you rely solely on yourself in life, then who can save you when you are falling? A person cannot grab hold of him or herself to save his or her life in times of trial. It makes no sense. Imagine that you are slipping off of a cliff. A mass of people stand at the top- the same people you intentionally distanced yourself from in order to stay independent. When they needed you, you decided to play the isolation game and let someone else help them. But now, in the face of your own peril, you see that pushing them away was only the piling of bricks that would later keep them from wanting to help you. Building walls is not living. It is limiting.

Many people think that being completely independent means that you have the power to make the best future for yourself. It’s actually far from the truth. When you surround yourself with a support group to do life with, you will find that your potential is actually strengthened by the energy and ideas that flow freely from those around you. Walls may keep you “safe”, but they also block out an array of untapped and unknown possibilities that could blossom through the cultivation of relationships that can be relied on. Now, this scenario can also be applied to a relationship with God. People justify their denial of God by deciding that a relationship with God would not cultivate anything new. They think God and His expectations will simply limit their potential. So they build a wall. They think they can run the race on their own. Be more successful and “happy” by themselves without having to be held accountable to any “sacred book” or being. The main reason that trusting no one can seem like a good idea is that it may save you from being let down or having your heart broken. However, this mentality does not compute when it comes to trusting God. What people forget is that trusting in God does not end in failure. God’s love NEVER fails. He won’t mess up and break your heart. He wants to MEND it. Why can trusting in humans fail? Because that’s just it- we are human. Humans make mistakes. They are flawed. You can’t solely rely on a person who is no stronger than you to make you stronger. It doesn’t work that way. So why is it that an imperfect human race would flee from a perfect God who only wants to love them?

Pride.

Remember this:

“Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” –Proverbs 18:12

Though many may try to tell you otherwise, trust is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. It takes a lot of strength to acknowledge one’s flaws and present them with transparency to the world. When the “wall” that was built becomes glass, it reveals a truth that many would like to deny: the fragility of humanity. Everyone, under all of the successes, all of the money, and all of the fancy clothes, is a human being that is…wait for it….broken. What? “No I can’t be broken. I have my life perfectly together.” Yet, even those words, when spoken or thought, are known to be a lie by the one who speaks them. We ALL have flaws. We ALL have a part of ourselves or of our life that we would like to “edit” like a picture in photoshop. And we ALL need something or someone to depend on. Something to hold onto when the ground shakes beneath our feet (because it will- despite any strength we believe we have on our own). Something to TRUST in. To believe in. We need God. A trust in God makes you dependent, yes. But what many who champion independence forget is that God is the only one who can make you completely independent. However, He does not make you independent of Himself or His plan for you, but independent of the world and its limitations. A titanium trust in Jesus is a titanium trust in a life free of having society tell you what to do and how to live life. Isn’t it ironic that those who claim to be the most independent are often the most dependent on what society tells them to do? Sure, you may not take handouts. But doing whatever it takes to salvage whatever you can for yourself, despite possibly hurting others along the way, is being dependent on a system. This system of “moving up” with no regard for what God wants for you can sometimes leave casualties. And if you continue to follow this system and do what it tells you to get the “crown” of success, you may just end up being the next one. If this “moving up” mentality is the only thing you care about, then living becomes rather limited…limited to what society TELLS you is “right” in order to succeed.

Denying weakness is easy. That’s part of society’s “rule book”. Revealing it takes strength. However, that’s not in the book. Relying on and trusting in God gives you the strength to do the actions not in the “rule book”. But what is “trust”? More importantly, what is “titanium trust”? As a continuation of the “Titanium” series, let me remind you of the three qualities that the metal titanium has: strength, light weight, and a high resistance to heat. How does strength apply to trust? Strength in regards to trust does not mean how strong of a trust in God you have. This is because trust is trust. It does not waver. Either you believe in God and trust Him or you don’t. Anything in between is a wavering trust, which is not true trust. Trust in terms of strength is how you strongly you are able to take that trust and use it to go out and conquer the world. Now, I do not mean world domination. I mean conquer the obstacles in this world. Break through the limits. People may tell you that something may be impossible because it does not follow the “system” I mentioned before. However, God does not follow the system- so you don’t have to either. Through a titanium trust in Jesus, you can do the hard things and know that God is right by your side. If you are alone, the feasibility of the impossible seems nonexistent. With God, all things are possible:

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

~Matthew 19:26

That’s the assurance we gain from a titanium trust in God. It turns you into a driven and strong force to be reckoned with that does not back down from a challenge. Those in the system won’t know what to do when you find success from diverging from said system. It won’t make any sense. But that’s the fun part- God has the ability to blow past what seems possible in the world and create something far greater past its predetermined limits.

Now let’s talk about another quality of titanium as it relates to trust: light weight. It is a rather odd concept really to associate trust with a lighter weight. Though it is an intangible ideal, trust actually does have weight. How? Well, when you trust someone or something, you can become one of two things: worried or relieved. Weighed down or weightless. Think about it. When you tell someone a secret, there is always a small part of you deep inside that worries about the repercussions of telling that person in particular the secret. Will they tell someone else? Can you really trust them? As a teenage girl, I know very well what it is like to both tell and be told secrets. As a human being, being weighed down by other people’s secrets or being weighed down by the thought of someone else sharing yours becomes quite heavy over time. I guess this is why I have become pretty transparent as I’ve gotten older. I am kind of an open book. And I prefer it this way. However, when it comes to other people’s secrets, keeping them is the best thing you can do. Sharing them doesn’t release the weight, contrary to popular belief. In fact, I know that if I were to share someone else’s secret that I would be become a nervous wreck thinking that what I said would somehow get back to the other person. I believe that if a person trusts me enough to say something that others don’t know, then it is my responsibility to keep it that way. But here’s the thing, it is not always that easy to do. Because we live in an imperfect broken world, we are all faced with a little thing called temptation. Temptation is something that comes from the forces of the devil. Whoa. Did she just go there? Yes, I just did. Therefore, there is going to be a time when we are tempted to let something slip out. It is this temptation that causes the worry I mentioned before. When we trust someone with a secret or just in general to help us out, the worry comes that they might let us down and fall prey to the temptation of selling us out. Telling someone else. Forgetting about us. Leaving us in the dust for better things…for the reward of being seen as better for wringing out OUR secrets. All of this worry comes from the very real fact that we are ALL humans who ALL face temptation. But you know who DOES NOT face temptation? You want to know who NEVER fails? Who NEVER lets you down when you trust Him? God. He is not swayed by the woes of our world. He is not convinced by any teenager at a sleepover at around 3 A.M who says, “it’s ok, you can tell me. I won’t tell a soul. What is their secret?”. He is not wavered by the popularity card. So what do you get when you trust God?

A truly weightless relief.

There is no worry to be had when you tell God the truth. Sure, it can be messy sometimes. We may have shame over our reality. But God does not care about that. He cares about YOU. And when you come to Him, there is nothing He wants to do more than pour love into your heart and tell you that everything is going to be okay. Plus, He already knew the truth. He knows ALL of the truth. Nothing is hidden from God. Every secret, including the billions released at sleepovers (I am very glad middle school is behind me), is known by God. Every single one since the beginning of time. That alone gives me comfort. That alone lifts a lot of weight off my shoulders…knowing that He has it all in His hands. He’s got this. He really has seen it all. So give it up- give up all those secrets. Give up your heart to Him. He is not going to break it like we fear humans will. Being vulnerable to God is exactly what He wants. He wants to pick us up and take away the rocks weighing us down. He wants to heal you. All you have to do is trust Him. That’s it. A titanium trust in God results in a titanium promise from God to always take care of you- and NEVER let you down.

Lastly, we must also diagnose the third quality of titanium as it relates to God’s trust: a high resistance to heat. When I say heat, I mean the amount of high pressure and tension existent in the world and in your life on a daily basis. Think of a metamorphic rock. It is created by heat and pressure. Over time, the amount builds so much that the rock becomes firm and strong. I believe that our hearts in relation to trusting Jesus work the same. When our hearts are subject to immense heat and pressure caused by struggles, doubt, and fear, God comes in and makes us stronger through the bond we uphold with Him. Because we trust in Him, He protects us all the more. Think of it in terms of earthly relationships for a moment. When you have a relationship with someone, you have two options when trouble comes: detach from one another in frustration, or grow stronger TOGETHER. With God, He will never be the one to draw away from you when problems come. He will be the one using the heat and pressure to make you more firm and able to stand. When you trust in Jesus, you always have someone to lean on. Isn’t that comforting? When you are alone in your room, He’s there. When you are surrounded by hoards of people, He is there. Just whisper His name. He is listening. It sounds rather crazy to think that the God of the entire universe not only knows your name, but HEARS you when you call. That is what separates an earthly relationship from a Heavenly one. That is what separates earthly trust that falters from Heavenly trust that lasts. That is titanium trust.