I’m Joseph, 2nd year Chemistry student from Edinburgh Uni. My hometown is at the central part of China, where Christianity doesn’t have much influence. I come from a family with no Christian background or experience. So, what brings me to the faith in Christ? My curiosity and God’s grace, I would say. I was always thinking about the meaning and purpose of life when I was around 14, which sounds quite silly now but that’s a common stage for most teenagers. I was not satisfied with the knowledge acquired from teachers and textbooks because it gave me the feel of fear of the infinite and boundless unknown, it seems we could never truly understand this universe. That was the first time I realised human beings are far away from the perfect standard.
So, I started to search my answer in religions. The first one I had contact with was Buddhism for my father is a Buddhist. Whenever I got questions or new thoughts, I often shared them with him and expected answers or comments during that time. But my father’s answers rather disappointed me since they were either “try to think about it by yourself in meditation” or something I can’t understand at all. As for the scriptures, I was not even capable to explain the meaning of a single sentence, which made me more confused: Shouldn’t the truth be at least understandable?
Feeling lost and frustrated, I then put my attention on Christianity (for I have some Christian friends) and found a Bible to read. Initially I believed it doesn’t make sense, especially the process of God creating the world, but
just the next day an article expounding the abstract concepts in Genesis enlightened me that there is another way to look at the same description. The strange thing was although I still had hundreds of doubts as I kept reading the later books in the Old Testament, the reasonable explanation was usually waiting for me somewhere I didn’t expect. For example priests, articles, Christian friends or even the Bible itself. In fact the more I doubted, the more I was convinced. Nevertheless, I was still struggling with one barrier that I couldn’t step over: How to prove God indeed exists? If His existence is not 100% solid, I thought I would find it rather reluctant to overcome my logic, until one of my friends shared a verse with me, 'And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE.' 1 Corinthians 13:13
Yes, LOVE. I was astounded by this simple but meaningful word and the amazing power it contains. Suddenly everything makes sense for me, God created lives by love, Jesus died for us by love, Christians follow Jesus by love. After all, is proving the existence of God really important? The debates and arguments have blinded me with arrogance and led me away from compassion, kindness, humility, patience and all the other precious characters. If God demonstrated Himself physically in front of everyones eyes, most people would believe in Him, but for benefits of going to heaven rather than loving Him. That would not be what He wants because He desires us to restore our broken relationship with Him and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Since then, I see God’s good purpose in my daily life and his marvellous creation in the world, in rocks and trees, in skies and seas, in our hearts. Each chord and formula declare the Maker’s wisdom, as it is written: 'Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?' John 11:40. Has the world been changed? No, it is me that has been changed by God with His unfailing love and grace, which are the best gifts on the earth.