Friday, March 21, 2008

Why Russell believes in God

In a thread on one of the message boards I frequent, the following question was asked: Why do you believe in God? Now, I realize that some who are reading my blog are not believers of God, but please allow me the opportunity to preach a little ...

First of all, He has presented me with many showings of His awesome power and grace. For those who may not know, Erin and I were believed to never have children of our own due to her PCOS. Now, we have two beautiful boys. One of those beautiful boys should be dead, but he is alive in the hospital and making progress.

Second, He has shown what kinds of things can happen when I give him control of a situation. I share a testimony from my youth when I was at Falls Creek. During an alter call, the preacher decided to extend it a bit longer. I went to stand and I literally could not ... it felt like I was being pulled back down. After several attempts, I denounced Satan for trying to hold me back and asked God to help. I went to stand and literally felt two things happen:
  1. Something "broke" underneath my chair (no, it was not the chair itself)
  2. I was lifted out of my chair ... yes, physically lifted to the point I felt like I was off my feet
To this day, I believe that when I stood, God saw my faith in Him and pulled me up the rest of the way. I still get chills when I think about it, and this was around 15 years ago!

But, I think one of the greatest reasons I believe in God is because he verifies His presence in some of the most amazing ways imaginable. A prime example happened just today.

As I have mentioned in a previous post here, "He's My Son" by Mark Schultz has been a song that has been both my personal prayer and a source of hope for me. When I first heard the song, I could have sworn that the song was God talking about Jesus, at least in the first verse. When I finally got Mark's first album, I learned the song was about a sick child.

Last night, Erin received a couple of gifts from one of the nurses here in the PICU: a journal and Mark's live album (she had heard me playing the song on my cell and found out from Erin how big a fan of him I was). It just so happens "He's My Son" is one of the songs on this album.

Before singing it, he tells the story of how the song came to be (I'll obviously be paraphrasing a lot here):
Mark was a youth pastor for about eight years prior to becoming a performer. One of children in his church went to the hospital with a sore hand. When Mark was called to the hospital, he and the family found out the child's hand would be OK, but he had Leukemia. The family spent a year and a half agonizing over whether their son would live or die. The child's mom would go into his room and rub his back to help him sleep, only to end up crying because she was unable to cure his cancer. His father would constantly pray to God to give the cancer to him so his child could live a normal life.

Mark spent three months trying to write a song about this situation and couldn't get it finished. At one point, God comes to him while he is at the piano:

God: Still having trouble with that song?
Mark: Yeah. It's just not coming to me.
God: Let me ask you something ... Do you have a son?
Mark: No.
God: Do you have a son with cancer?
Mark: No.
God: You need to slide over ...

45 minutes later, the song was written. Mark says now that he laughs when he looks at the liner notes and says that he wrote the song, because the only thing he did was get lucky enough to be in the room when it happened.
When I heard this, I had chills and started crying at the same time. This story verified for me how much God was involved in the song! Even more so, it verified for me how present God can be in our lives if we let Him.

Just so you know, the child the song is about is now 21 and 100% cancer-free.

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