Debate, discuss, ponder – just remember Christian faith’s bottom line

“What are you up to?” the Preacher just asked.

“I’m wrestling words,” I said, peering at him from behind my laptop. “Writing next week’s column. Why?”

“When you’re done wrestling,” he said, “could you demonstrate the therapy harp to Anthony? He’s only seen pictures.”

I’ll likely never be done word-wrestling. But I’ll stop awhile. Set the words down, pick up the harp and strum a few minutes. It may prove therapeutic. Because it’s not only words I struggle with this week, and I could use a break.

“Sure,” I told him. “I think I’ve forgotten the tuning pitches, but we’ll figure it out.”

We’ve loved having our son visit from two provinces over. We haven’t seen Anthony in person for far too long, and I miss our conversations. Our children (and now grandchildren) debate with me often. We talk about everything from medicine to driving, from music and movie choices, from habits to concepts I haven’t thought about in decades. As always, Tony and I have spent hours discussing faith. He challenges my (far less keen) mind, and I try to stretch his. After an hour or so, the Preacher usually leaves us to it, exiting the room with a shrug and glazed eyes.

So as I write today, it’s not primarily words I’m wrangling, it’s faith. Ideas and questions Biblical teachers and scholars have also tussled with; some only God can address. Does the Bible actually teach the things we’ve always believed? Did God create the world in seven literal days, or did he take eons? What does the Bible say about science? Space? Climate change? Is Heaven a physical place? Paradise? What is Sheol? Hell? Where is the Trinity mentioned in scripture? What about a sudden rapture of saints? Do Old Testament laws have any place for the practicing Christian today?

I love our discussions. They drive me to God’s Word. But my brain tires sooner than Tony’s. After a long dialogue the other day, these words to an old hymn by Eliza E. Hewitt came to me. I began quoting:

1. My faith has found a resting place, Not in device or creed; I trust the ever-living One, His wounds for me shall plead.

   I need no other argument, I need no other plea, It is enough that Jesus died, And that He died for me.

2. Enough for me that Jesus saves, This ends my fear and doubt; A sinful soul I came to Him, He’ll never cast me out.

3.    My heart is leaning on the Word, The living Word of God, Salvation by my Savior’s name, Salvation through His blood.

4. My great physician heals the sick, The lost He came to save; For me His precious blood He shed, For me His life He gave.

We ended it there. In agreement. Because it all comes down to Jesus. Period. And he is indeed enough.

It is enough that Jesus died, and that he died for me!
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