The line of cars extended around the city block. The buzz had been building for weeks. It was the first week of the grand opening of a new drive-through restaurant, one that was quite popular in other locations in California and other states. I was befuddled. Everyone I had spoken to who had tried it at other locations thought the food was not that great, overpriced, and overhyped. Yet, here was the incontrovertible proof that my opinion was definitely in the minority.
“Why is it so popular? I don’t know anyone who likes this place.” My colleagues nodded. Even three months later, the line of cars remained unabated. On social media, the reviews were polarizing. There was only one thing left to do, I had to try it for myself. The positive and negative comments swimming through my mind, I ordered some of the signature dishes. Yes, it was expensive. Yes, it was a bit salty. Yes, it was slow service. The taste? Not bad, but not good enough that I would want to return. I had my answer.
It is difficult to maintain objectivity when we have been influenced by so many others, including those whose opinions we trust. When I was in college, I encountered a similar situation with my own faith. Was Christianity true or false? Was it truly the path to God and salvation or was it a psychological crutch for the weak-willed?
The 17th century French philosopher, Blaine Pascal, eloquently stated the dilemma that confronts many seekers. “Either Christianity is true or it’s false. If you bet that it’s true, and you believe in God and submit to Him, then if it IS true, you’ve gained God, heaven, and everything else. If it’s false, you’ve lost nothing, but you’ve had a good life marked by peace and the illusion that ultimately, everything makes sense. If you bet that Christianity is not true, and it’s false, you’ve lost nothing. But if you bet that it’s false, and it turns out to be true, you’ve lost everything and you get to spend eternity in hell.”
Good words and I knew at some point, I would have to make a decision. Fortunately, Jesus Christ understood my hesitation and doubt.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
Why would Jesus challenge us with this invitation? Some critics charge that faith is blind. I aver that faith is not blind. The Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe wrote, “Faith does not demand explanations; faith rests on promises.” We will never understand God’s faithfulness to us unless we allow Him into our lives. Once we see Him work in our life, we will know that His promises to us are true. We will see that true faith cannot be debated or reasoned, it must be experienced and lived. Like the indecision I had with visiting the new restaurant, only when I actually experienced it for myself, did I understand and know the truth. It was no different for my relationship with Jesus Christ. Only when I finally accepted the invitation of Jesus Christ to confess and repent of my sins and accept Him as Lord and Savior, did I finally understand God’s promise to give me rest for my soul. Only when I tasted the goodness of God’s blessing, did I have my answer.
Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Psalms 34:8 (NLT)
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.