Is God real? We sometimes wonder. Is God something we made up to pour salve on our life-worn hearts? Is he a crutch, a figment of our imagination we made up to help us through life, like an imaginary friend?
Doubts about God are often good for us. Doubt’s not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of growth. Doubt forces us to dig deeper and question what we truly believe about God and ourselves and why. Doubt means we’re searching, looking deeper, open to new perceptions as we seek truth. And as we search, we often develop an even deeper understanding based upon what we discover during our search.
The most common way many people say they have come to believe that God is real, is that they experience God. They feel a presence of a higher power guiding them, leading them toward good, and connecting them with each other and life.
Some say they feel God’s presence, his love, when they hold a newborn baby, marvel at a starry sky, or hold a loved ones hand. Others say they experience God when people come into their life changing their path and direction, or when all life’s puzzle pieces seem to gradually unfold in a way that’s often better then they could have planned.
It’s interesting in the post-Easter stories when Jesus appeared to the disciples after he rose from the dead, he appeared to them in common every day experiences. Walking along the road on the way to Emmaus two of the disciples feel their hearts burning with a gentle glow when Jesus joins them on their stroll. Sharing a piece of cooked fish from a campfire, Peter comes to recognize his friend Jesus has returned as they reminisce sharing food and drinks on the beach. In the breaking of bread like they did at the last supper, the disciples recall Jesus told them he would return and did before their very eyes.
Perhaps the message from these resurrection appearances is that God is found in the common everyday experiences of life. He’s found in the sharing of meals, in caring for one another, experiencing other’s joys and heartaches, in encouraging others.
Maybe God is as real as Facebook as we use the tools of technology to share our hearts, offer words of wisdom, and inspire each other to grow. How often do we look through our Facebook posts and smile with a deeper sense of connection when we learn someone’s getting married or having a new baby; or when we’re touched by the post of someone struggling with cancer and feel that burning glow within our hearts to reach out to them. And then we offer our affirmation with a simple click on the like button, or respond with words of encouragement and hope.
Maybe we Facebook God every time we shout out a ray of love on our page, reach out with hope for someone who’s struggling, or shower others with words of wisdom and inspiration. There’s something inside of us that wants to experience God in mountain-top events, but the reality is God is found all over Facebook, he’s in the common ordinary experiences of life and love, like watching a movie holding hands, taking a walk in nature, and breaking bread together at Panera.