Religion, or the reality of experience?

I’d love to show my kids that what I’m part of is real. But how do I put it in terms that don’t sound religious or “churchy”? 

Take the verse in Philippians 4:6, for instance, which says, “Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,” verse 7, “which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” 

It’s an amazing promise, which gets right to the heart of our being human, because who doesn’t have “anxious” thoughts? But Paul says: “It doesn’t matter how many worries you’ve got, just take them all to God and he’ll settle your mind down.” 

But how did he know that? It came from the reality of experience, because when he (and friends) in 2 Corinthians 1:11 turned to God in their desperation, Paul found himself being lifted out of his misery and hopelessness. It was like being “raised from the dead,” as he put it in verse 9. Like the time he was dumped for dead outside a city, but picked himself up and went right back into the city to carry on from where he’d left off. Talk about a “peace beyond understanding” and having his “mind and heart guarded” against giving up. 

It was experiencing such rescues again and again that gave Paul the confidence to say what he did in Philippians 4:6.  

Experience has taught me that too, that turning to God in my desperate times when I couldn’t carry on a moment longer, I was lifted out of my hopelessness and given an energy I didn’t have in myself to keep going. And this is what our kids can experience too, a life of amazing rescues from desperate situations that enable them to keep going as well.

Which is why I turn to God on their behalf (Galatians 6:2), just like Paul’s friends did for him, so my kids have real experiences that prepare the ground very nicely for it to dawn on them one day that they were rescued by a real God who cares for them. 

And they may never darken the door of a church building to get them to that point. It will be the reality of their own experience. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s