Belief — Fact or Fantasy

D L Henderson
9 min readJun 13, 2024


Belief — Fact or Fantasy

June 13, 2024

When I claim that I believe in God, that God of the Bible really does exist and is no fantasy, I have my reasons. You see, reasons are more important than believing by itself. Wouldn’t you agree?

During my youth, I never asked or discussed religion with friends, family, coworkers, or acquaintances. I was a part of a family which had a long history of being stoically Presbyterian. In that, I really didn’t have a choice, nor the slightest clue about its doctrines, let alone an active relationship with my parents’ denomination. Still, I didn’t question what I believed. Heck, I had no idea what I believed… I guess I just believed what I was told to believe… I didn’t really have any interest to know! So, would questioning beliefs be the same way with people in my life? Hardly.

What people believed just never entered into relationships.

I suppose I should mention that in High School, I sort of knew those who were being brought up Roman Catholic, only because in the afternoon, every week, they would leave school to go to Religious Instructions. Still, I really paid it no mind… Sure. I was a little jealous that they got to leave school… Otherwise, the religious part never came into the picture.

Friends were friends and classmates were classmates. Family was family and coworkers were coworkers.

That was the extent and limitations of my beliefs.

However, now I am beginning to realize that when I found my reasons to believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible, I should have shared those reasons with all those people that I loved… and I pretty much loved everybody, even though it was in a very surfacy kind of way.

Please understand, all my life I have been a very shallow person in my social interactions. Looking back, I merely liked them all, not truly loved them, because I had no real concept of love, no intrinsic concept of caring. (The Greeks had several words we call “love,” and each had varying breadth and depth of meaning. Here is one expansive look:

So then… Now, I am rather obsessed with sharing the reasons for my believing. Awkward? Yes. Necessary? Yes. I owe them all, at the very least, their own opportunity to examine the reasons for believing God, Jesus, and the Bible. All of them did contribute so much to my life in so many ways. I don’t take that for granted anymore.

Still, the fact remains, regarding religious beliefs, that soon after Jesus’ crucifixion, Believers had plain and simple, informal gatherings to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and His effects on their lives. Decades later the celebrating started to die down, evolving into a more organized worship, and then the formal atmosphere evolved into separate and divergent denominations, and, ironically, they would still meet under the one banner, “Christianity.”

The results? While providing a structure which safeguards morality and ethical behaviors of a sort, they have become rather topheavy and complex but empty regimens, with minimal effect on individuals personally living life in the real world… Sure. We can go through the motions, but physical or metaphysical exercise or even theistic existential philosophizing doesn’t bring any person closer to God.

Transcendent, these denominations? They really are not. Instead, they foment division, dissent, and discord. A trend which has grown exponentially through today.

However, I must point out, this tumultuous discord is not often reflected in regular life and ordinary people’s relationships, but only within Religious Leadership and the most loyal adherents.

According to the Bible, that is precisely the opposite of why Jesus came and died for us. That is, Jesus came to restore a deep personal relationship between us and God — a return to Eden, as it were — Humanity would again enjoy the fruits of His labors: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” — Galatians 5:22–23.

Now, many do believe “He’s somewhere up there.” Yet, we can’t touch Him and He doesn’t touch us. All the same, that’s what my life reflected anyways, thinking God was somewhere far, far away, unreachable and ineffectual and had nothing to do with me or anyone else. However, I found out that that was not true.

Absolutely not true…

…I remember when one of our dearly loved classmates died in an automobile accident. Our entire class was excused from school to attend her funeral. The whole class. What were we all doing in that Funeral Mass? Finding strength and solace being together? Maybe looking to God for the same? Both? Sure…

…Yes. Accidents happen. People die. We hope to see family and friends again some day. We try very hard to believe that. If we don’t believe we fear it might not happen. Nevertheless, even though we may succeed in our hoping, we never seem to be all that sure. Emotionally, perhaps. In our own heads’ we might succeed in convincing ourselves. Yes. But we never can be absolutely sure, can we? So, we try even harder to hold on to that vague hope.

But this is not the story of Peter Pan and Wendy and Tinker Bell, clicking their heels together and sprinkling Fairy Dust all about.

Deep down inside, maybe not right away, but sooner or later… that hope fades… Yet, many try to hold on ever more tightly for fear that if they let go, they’ll never see them again. We cannot seem to grasp that seeing them again is not dependent on our unwavering believing.

God is who He is, and the Grand Reunion depends on God and God alone. Our failure in our efforts to “believe” — or our “disbelief” — are both separate issues on which God does not depend whatsoever. He is faithful and will accomplish what He set out to accomplish — regardless of the strength of our believing — and with us or without us…

Nevertheless, I visited Terry’s grave several times. Once, I saw a doe coming into the cemetery’s clearing, in the middle of the day, which seemed odd, but refreshing. Another time, a pure white dove flew over. Both seemed like reassuring signs from God to me. The last time, I was impressed with a small voice inside my head, “Go now. Let her rest in peace.”

I no longer felt the need to return…

Getting back to the issue at hand, when I talk about personal beliefs, does it offend you? Does it seem to you that I am trying to overthrow what you believe?

Well, that isn’t my intent — not exactly. I rather want to solidify your believing, placing you on a solid foundation on which you will build a reliable, solid structure, a bulwark of belief.

What I am trying to do is share with you the reasons I have come to believe so that you know for sure that God exists and His rewards are “in His hand.” He is ready, willing, and able, and He is waiting to hand you the best building materials, free of charge, not on credit. He’s just waiting for you to show up…

Do you really want to know the truth, whether or not Heaven exists? Are the Biblical stories anything more than a Fantasia, full of bizarre, unreal qualities, and even grotesque conjurings?

I have found that the Bible is real meat and potatoes, real people, real relationships with the living God, with people’s deeds, bad as well as the good, and insights, both pragmatic and applicable, to real living. Historical. Good advice. Structures for sociable civilization. Precepts for choosing beneficial paths rather than harmful ones.

Regardless, why do I believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible? What reasons do I have which I can share?

First and foremost, God changed my life, saved my life mentally and, on several occasions, physically, improved my life from the inside and on the outside, on the streets, with provision of employment, walking in the real world, and God continues to do all these things regardless of my abilities, without my own concerted efforts, and actually, in spite of myself.

From suicidal depression to Grandfather of seven, from falling into darkness with no escape, to entering a well lit pathway… God has intervened to save and preserve me even from being murdered in the Cane fields of Florida, and to work on changing my personality by improving my inner thoughts — from harmful and hurtful to healthy and beneficial.

Now, I realize those are generalizations, but if you ask, I can fill you in on the details. Suffice it to say, what God has done for me, He will do for you. I’m nobody special in the sense that I could be better than anyone else, or more valuable in God’s eyes. Everything that has caused me to believe is that I called on God to rescue me and turned to Jesus to save me from all the harm and hurt I had caused in my life to both myself and to others…

If it had been up to my own efforts, I’d still be digging a hole for myself. By now I’d be at least six feet under. But God took that shovel out of my hand.

Life still has its ups and downs. I certainly have not made all the right decisions. Even after Jesus became an integral part of my life, my thought life and actions have not always been all they should be and all that God had made available for me. But God never abandons His work in me, and anyone who searches earnestly for the right, for justice, and for personal forgiveness will never be abandoned either.

“Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’ “ — Matthew 11:28, New Living Translation.

Likewise, I know that not everyone is considering their need for God, Jesus, or the Bible to be a necessary part of their life. Perhaps, they have grown content with their life as it is, or the opposite, become overly discouraged about such things. All the same, there are some people who might be interested.

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, within what are called the Beatitudes, there are listed certain kinds of people who have certain kinds of qualities or characteristics, and they are the ones who might find benefits or answers or anything else I have mentioned here, and Jesus would certainly become appealing to such people:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” — Matthew 5:3–12.

Never stop searching. Without searching, there is no chance for finding.

Never stop asking. Without asking, there is no chance for answers.

Never stop knocking. Without knocking, who will bother to open the door for you?



D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between