Friday, June 20, 2014

Difficult Things to Explain

"I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied.  “But I know this:  I was blind, and now I can see!”  John 9:25

There are a few things I find difficult to explain to my Muslim friends.

Miracles:  If you check back on my post "Spared" you will recognize God did a mighty miracle sparing my life. Others on the accident scene verbally declared it was a miracle and I, too, knew without a doubt a miracle had taken place. You can’t keep a miracle to yourself when it happens. Suddenly I found myself explaining the miracle to Muslim friends. Previously miracles had been described from the past but this one was fresh and they didn’t know how to respond. Most just stared at me and were speechless. “Qismat,” many would conclude, simply believing in predetermined course of events, fate or destiny. The way they said qismat was devoid of emotion. Others made comments like, “You were spared because you are so nice,” or “I’m so sorry.” “For what?” I inquired. “God did a miracle. He’s very great!” Most only shuddered at the danger and didn’t catch God’s greatness in it all. Some gave superstitious responses like Haneen who said, “In my religion I would wipe my face 7 times, put an egg on the road to avert further calamity and give money to the poor.” It is not easy to explain a miracle. When a miracle happens and we are caught up in awe we aren’t preoccupied with teaching doctrine. The story of our miracle just spills out in a raw form of wonder and awe sounding like mumble jumble.

Doctrine:  I find it difficult to explain our Triune God to my Muslim friends. How does one adequately explain sin, the incarnation, grace, salvation, unconditional love, atonement, His resurrection, and a host of other doctrinal issues? Most everything is not heard or understood clearly or rebutted. There are many apologetic type of books written which lay out explanations with logic and precision but when we try to actually explain our great salvation we discover it is not easy. Mysteries are hard to explain. Nevertheless I continue to rely on the Holy Spirit to give utterance to me and understanding and faith to the hearer.

My Job: “What do you do?” is one of the first questions I am asked. This is a difficult thing to explain to my Muslim friends.  That’s because they can’t understand my explanation very well. If I said I’m a nurse, day care worker, or an ESL teacher it would be much easier for them to grasp. But when I say, “I work with the Church and I teach the Bible to whoever is interested and pray for people” they try to figure that one out. It leads to interesting conversations for sure. Sometimes I am tempted to evade their question to make it easier for me but after many years in this ministry I have found it is more beneficial to be direct about my calling. They know where to turn when they have a need or a spiritual question.
I wish everything would be easier to explain. But if it was easy I would not be dependent on the Holy Spirit.

Dear heavenly Father, keep me dependent on Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.