Conversation with a Car Radio
by Pastor George Van Alstine

Recently, while I was driving my car, I heard someone telling his life story on the radio. He mentioned one important moment of change, when his brother died. He said, “I had it out with God about our mortality.” The fact that God would allow us to die seemed unforgivable, and he decided he was no longer a believer.

I entered into a debate with the car radio. “You’re focusing on death. How about being thankful for the blessing of life? God has given you this wonderful gift, and this should make you believe in him and want to be his friend.”

The car radio talked back . . . . No, it wasn’t the radio; it was
another voice in my head, saying: “Isn’t it even worse if God gives us something wonderful, then takes it away from us? The more we appreciate life, the more we resent death, and the more we question God’s goodness.”

That’s an argument I couldn’t easily escape. “Then why,” I asked myself, “do I still believe in God and want to be close to him?” And I immediately knew the answer. It’s because he has not simply allowed death to trump life; he has overtrumped death with Eternal Life. His final word is not No, but Yes.

My car radio friend either did not know or did not accept this Gospel truth about God, and his anger, therefore, was understandable. I tried to tell him the Good News, but the car radio just went on babbling. It did not have “ears to hear.”

Since then, I’ve thought more about my debate with the car radio. I realize that this series of thoughts has helped me clarify the stark difference between belief and unbelief. Those who don’t embrace the Good News about Eternal Life are left with a very dark reality – that God, if there is a God, has given them the gift of life, but he will soon snatch it away again in death. I understand why they might be angry with him.

But believers build their world view on a strong conviction that God’s last word is life, not death. This causes them to want to be as close to God as possible, for they see him as the source of Eternal Life and their only hope.