My nine-year-old is struggling. It's hard to watch, and it breaks my heart. But I try to remain steady, not pushy, and I have known for some time that this struggle existed in my son. So I keep the conversation open, but never do I say, It is this or else.
He is very young to be reflecting that things in the Bible may not be true. He is young to be trying to say that he has struggled with the idea that Jesus' life is a hoax. It seems easier for him to believe in the Supreme Being than the Savior of humanity. I listen to all of it, unraveling his thoughts with gentle tugs, all the while anxious but passionate about this subject.
At nine I did not doubt Jesus. I doubted my ability to make it into the kingdom of God. That is not to say I have never doubted anything about spiritual faith, but I feel, listening to some of my fellow human beings, that I have not doubted in the way many have, in the way my son is. I do not know why. Certainly, I have never given up seeking God, and there is nothing I love more to talk about. But this is also because I know, and as I explained to my son, I know the truth in a way that I cannot give to others. I know the truth through my own experiences on my journey to the One Who made me, and it can always be assumed that I made up my experiences. I know in the way anyone can only ever know and understand - through the Holy Spirit.
To my son I keep repeating what I know, but he does not know what I know yet and cannot until he seeks God on his own. It is my word and my experience that I lay bare before him. In example, I cannot prove to him one of the most profound experiences I have had with my Creator, that while I was pregnant with his sister and struggling with my torturous obsessive thoughts while trying to ask God for something specific for him, my eldest child, I gave up praying one night and went to lay down in misery. I cannot show him how as I wallowed in self-pity that I heard God tell me to stop, get up and go pray over my son. I cannot prove how I obeyed even though my thoughts still speared me. I am powerless to explain my astonishment and joy that God had spoken to me for the first time ever in my life, if only in rebuke.
In fact, the only way I can explain such a direct, electrifying communication from Him is through the fact that at that time I was praying to God continually, seeking Him several times a day in my urgent desire to have Him meet my request. To my son I brought up Christ's story of the unjust judge (Luke 18: 1-8) and of the Stone and the Serpent (Luke 11: 11 - 13) as examples of the power of persistent prayer. I quoted what Jesus said at the end of the parable of the Judge, "Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
There is no proof except proof through the Spirit. "You will not have proof," I told my boy. "Not physical, scientific proof. Even of Christ's existence. A Jewish historian named Josephus mentioned Jesus and another historian from that time who I can't remember, but Jesus is actually mentioned very little outside the Gospel and the letters of the apostles."
Again, the proof is through the Spirit. I tell my son, and I tell him and tell him and tell him, Do not ever stop seeking God. You stop seeking and you have lost. It's okay to struggle and to question. There is nothing wrong with that. But do not stop seeking. Do not give up.
To end our very long but mostly calm conversation I said, "Son, I'm going to tell you what your Paca (my dad) told me as a kid - read the New Testament and ask God to be filled with His Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit will teach you the truth and help you to understand."
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask of Him? Luke 11:13
To read of one of my more personal experiences with my Father, click Here