Although she grew up in a Lebanese Christian family, Nasrin* (19) began doubting God, and even declared herself an atheist while in high school. But God intervened and now she tries to inspire others to see that God and science are not opposing forces.
Lebanon has the largest percentage of Christians of all the Middle Eastern countries, most of them descending from the early Christians living in the region since Biblical times. But these credentials don’t guarantee a healthy spiritual life, according to Nasrin. “Most Christians in Lebanon are just Christians on their ID. My family is listed as Christian, but they are not dedicated to any church,” she tells. “So as I grew up and reached high school age, I started to wonder who is God really? Do I believe in Jesus because I experienced Him, or do I say I’m a Christian just because this is the only religion I know?”
In modern day Lebanon, atheism and evolutionist principles are ‘trending’, very much like in many Western countries, according to Nasrin. “Both movements were grasping my interest while I was searching for the truth. I simply love science. I love the way it explains a lot of the world we live in. Back in those days, I started to follow science in an extreme way. I convinced myself there was no God and that science was the explanation for everything.”
She particularly liked the idea of ‘absolutes’ in science, such as ‘believe only in what you see’. “I remember thinking: ‘If I don’t see proof of God’s existence, I will not believe in Him.’”
For some months Nasrin persisted in her newly found atheist conviction, until she heard a Christian sermon on Matthew 5:8, where Jesus says: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” This passage got her thinking about the following questions: what if all those people who truly seem to believe in God are actually right? Are they the ‘pure in heart’ Jesus speaks of?
So she prayed. Sort of. “I talked to God, calling him ‘God that supposedly exists’, asking Him for proof of His existence. I asked him not to make it vague. Not something like ‘I felt Him very close’, but rather some clear sign that I really would understand.”
God made her wait a long time before he answered. He did so when her father got very sick, “I prayed again, and then He answered. A thought came very clear in my mind: ‘I am going to heal your dad. That is your sign. And my mission for you is to share my Word with the people.’”
This supernatural moment caused a major shift in Nasrin’s thinking, “Instead of asking questions all the time, I started to look for answers. The major breakthrough was when I allowed myself to wonder what if God and science don’t contradict each other, but what if science is, in fact, the work of God’s hands?”
This thought led Nasrin to the insight that science – being a part of the universe – is created to glorify God. “God created the universe and everything in it, to have us close to Him. Science is part of His creation and we can use this to share His love,” said Nasrin.
Since this epiphany, Nasrin has been following Christ wholeheartedly. She is currently at University, studying to be a doctor, and she sees it as her calling to talk to friends and fellow students about God and science. “Those two are not opposing forces; God is also the God of science. Believing in Him is not something primitive.”
She would like to use her involvement in I Share Life to communicate this message to others online, “Not all believers are force-fed their faith by the Church or by their parents. Some did actually search for Him and find Him. I am the living proof.”
* Name changed for security purposes
This is an interview with one of the participants of the new social media project ‘I Share Life’ that Open Doors is initiating in the Middle East.
The goal of this project is to enable Christian youth from Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon to find new ways of sharing the love of Christ online in the Arab world. Click the ‘I Share Life’ tag to find more stories.