Huffing and Puffing Won't Blow the Straw Man Down
Updated: Aug 20
I never considered that sharing my belief could be viewed as a straw man of any type. I thought a straw man was a decoy of sorts. Knowingly putting false information out there, specifically, for the purpose of it being disproved. No false info here! I believe what I say to be true. I've lived through too many personal experiences to even begin to deny God's existence. To do so would be an outright lie! I was surprised when a young friend posted a "religious" question, to which I posted a link to this blog in my response, stated that I have built a straw man here.
He said I had done so because I am sharing information about God, but not proving His existence.
I wish I could produce that piece of physical evidence that would be sufficient proof for my questioning friend and any of his family that question, too. Proof for all his friends and their families. Proof for all their friends and families. Proof for all my family and friends. And, if you do not know Him, proof for you right here and now. The decision to accept God's free gift of salvation by acknowledging that His Son, Jesus, died for your sin is the most important one anyone makes in their lives. Your soul is going to live with God for eternity or separated from Him.
Still, as much as I want to be able to undeniably put God right in front of you, I can not. If you are not already open to the idea of meeting Jesus and through Him beginning a relationship with God, the Father, I can huff and puff all I want. But, no amount of scripture quoting, debating, arguing, or even pleading can knock the straw man down. I can offer to introduce you, but I can't force your meeting.
I will share a verse found in Deuteronomy 4:29 though. "But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and all your soul." God reiterates those words throughout the Bible. (You can read the many promises He makes to those who truly seek Him here.)
He wants you to find Him. He knows you. He planned for your creation before the creation of the world. He longs for you to know Him, too.
The only thing I can offer by way of proof is what God has done for me. If you know me and are reading this, what would you say about me? Am I someone that you trust? Would I stand by you when times are hard? I know me too so believe you answered both questions with a resounding, "Yes!"
So, I will share just two of the many, many things God has done for me. One is a miracle. The other, a lesson. Let's start with the miracle. 👊😇
My husband was an ironworker for many years. We have a copy of this picture hanging in our home. It's titled Lunch Atop A Skyscraper by photographer, Charles Ebbet (ca. 1932). Randy identifies with these guys. Except for on the really big jobs, with the really big companies, safety regulations were pretty much non-existent in the '80s. Tying off was not the norm. It was and is a very dangerous occupation. One Friday afternoon in late August, I looked up when I heard the door open at work to see my mother-and-father-in-law walk in. I knew, immediately, that something was very, very wrong. My husband's crew was finishing up a building in a nearby town and there had been an accident.
We had only been married for 5 months and, in typical man style, my brand new husband hadn't gotten around to changing his "In case of Emergency" information in his wallet. Turns out, that was a good thing. I'm not sure how I would have taken a call like that. Upon getting to the hospital, we learned that they had been hanging gutters and Randy had gotten up on his knees to stretch. He had a metal tape measurer in his hand. When he lifted his arms into the air, 8,000 volts (yes, eight thousand) of electricity arced from the city power line overhead into the tape measurer. It entered Randy's body next to his thumb, shot through his internal organs, and blew holes through his knees as it exited.
The force of the impact tossed him off the building. He fell thirty feet to the ground, fracturing his back in 2 places. Plus side of hitting the ground? They say it was the impact that started his heart beating again. His condition was grave. *sigh* What a day that was. After speaking with the doctor in the emergency room, I was met by the ambulance driver. He introduced himself and started our conversation by saying that he had never hung around to speak with a patient's family before, but he felt compelled to tell me something. When they got the call, they assumed they were on the way to a fatal accident.
They were surprised to discover a pulse. And then my husband spoke!
He groaned and said, "I am going to be in so much trouble!" The driver responded, "In trouble? Why, buddy? There was an accident, but we're going to get you to the hospital now. It's going to be all right." Randy said, "My wife prays every day that I don't fall off a building and I think I just fell off a building." The driver, visibly, choked up but pressed on. "I told him, Buddy, I think it's because of those prayers that I am talking to you right now. Everything's going to be ok." And—Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, God!—it was. He made it past the critical 48-hour mark. (Longest weekend of my life! I spent it by his side, alternating between, tearfully, thanking God for sparing his life and, tearfully, begging Him not to take it yet.) His progress continued. He walked out of the hospital one week after he was admitted. Miracle! Even the doctors and nurses were using the word. Praise be to God! So, my friend who got me thinking about the straw man, I hope you read this. This, directly, pertains to what you asked that day. You were wondering how doctors feel when God is getting the glory for healing the sick and injured when it's them doing the work. I didn't think of this part of my life that day. But the doctors and nurses were truly using the word miracle.
And Randy's doctor, Dr. Eugene Windmiller, was such a comfort to me. He even prayed with me. Actually, he did the praying. I was busy sobbing. It was a mighty prayer. I was so thankful for him.
Odds are in this world, though, that there are some doctors who are offended for not getting the credit. But, we're all just supposed to be helpers here. God works through doctors and can use a nonbeliever to accomplish His will whether they know it or not.
And if you chose to follow Jesus and make a conscious decision that if God says it in His Word, then, you will believe it. God will not disappoint!
Keep the faith, baby! I thank God for Ms. Faye. She taught our preschool class at Sunday School for many (many, many!) years. It was because of her nudging that I, finally, made the commitment to attend church regularly again. I'd been gone far more than there for over a decade. She asked me if I would help her in her class. She knew little people are my thing and used the knowledge to pull me back into the fold.
It didn't take too much coaxing for me to say yes. Still qualifying as a babe in Christ myself, the preschool lessons resonated with me. The life application of equating scripture with how God wants to connect with us and work in our lives today hit me like a sledgehammer! I learned so much! And, God expounded on those lessons throughout the week reinforcing what I had learned the week before. I found it to be an amazing process!
But, today, I'm sharing the lesson learned about the difference between wants and needs.
In a nutshell the lesson made this point: Just hitting God up for cool stuff because it's cool or asking God for something for selfish reasons is a want. Not the type of prayer God has on the priority list. We shouldn't even ask. Needs are different. God wants his people to have what they need and provides for them.
A few days after this lesson, I had an errand I needed to run. It was a beautiful spring day. I had 3 little boys in my daycare that day so I loaded them into our rickety, old wagon and off we went. We passed my neighbor's perpetual yard sale on our route home and lo and behold! There in his yard was a beautifully refurbished Radio Flyer! The boys noticed it right away and were in awe. Mr. McC hurried over to chat a minute.
Of course, I had to ask how much he wanted for the Flyer. He winked at my wagon load and answered, "Oh... For you and the boys... $10.00." What? $10,00! I truly hadn't expected that answer—still Missouri winters aren't known to be conducive to ironwork. This one just past had been no different so money was tight. Splurging even $10.00 would be selfish right now. I mean, it's a wagon. I shouldn't even entertain the thought.
I thanked him for the offer and said I'd better not. He smiled and said he'd just hold on to it a bit while I thought it over. He did too, immediately. I saw him pulling it toward the shed where he kept his stock and worked on his projects before we were out of the yard. On the short walk from his yard to mine, I found myself having a little talk with God that went something like this: "It sure would be nice to have a new wagon, God. This one is getting pretty shaky. We enjoy our walks around the neighborhood so! I'm not sure I could keep up with everyone if we were all on foot. But, I was paying attention to the lesson on Sunday. It's a wagon. That's surely, something we can live without. The day will come..." We turned the corner and rolled up the driveway. I distinctly remember thinking how quiet and still our street was. Not a soul in sight. The boys scrambled out of the wagon, up the back porch steps and we were inside. I shut the door and turned to help the boys out of their jackets.
Immediately, there was a knock. It startled me because I usually heard footsteps on the old wooden porch floor even if I was in another room. I turned to see a lady I did not know standing at the window with a huge smile on her face. I opened the door and before I could speak, she said, "I'll give you $10.00 to take this survey." She waved a $10,00 bill at me as she spoke.
I wonder if my face showed the amazement that flooded my soul. I believe God showed me that sometimes our wants are a need. The icing on the cake? That was the day I not only received an immediate answer to prayer—and wondered if I was visited by an angel—seriously, there was not a soul on the street anywhere and she knocked on my door almost immediately upon our having passed through it ourselves—but it was the day I decided I will trust God to know what's best for me.
It has been a wise decision. Oh, and I took that survey! Bet you guessed what I did with the $10.00. 😊
I hope by sharing these experiences I have given you some food for thought. The straw man theory—as it pertains to God—is just another guise used by the devil, himself, to keep you from the One who loves you most.
Don't kiss that frog! I'll be hoping and praying you take the straw man down. Down to the ground! Ask Jesus to come into your heart today! Love, C Thanks to God.net for listing God's promises to those that seek Him. http://god.net/god/bible-topics/god-and-you/promises-to-those-who-seek-god/ Sunburst image courtesy freedigitaldownloads.com