Gaining a personal relationship with God by asking Him questions

Abner Apsley has come to know God by bringing his questions and concerns to Him, especially about the common ground between science and faith. (Morgan March)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Who is God? How do I know that He’s there? How can I have a personal relationship with Him? Asking questions about the nature of God is not uncommon, and questions like these have been pondered for centuries.

As Abner Apsley has pursued his studies, he recognizes that a lot of the big questions he and his peers have are in regard to how things are constructed, physically and chemically. Answers to these questions come through equations and formulas, and not much thought is often given to God in these settings.

As an undergraduate student studying chemical engineering, and now as a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University studying genetics, Abner’s focus lies in understanding the genetic components of organisms, but he strives to keep God as the focus of the equations and formulas in his personal life.

For Abner, his academic research lies in finding truth, but he recognizes that there are a lot things that he wants to know which only God can answer.

“I want to know if there’s a God that cares about me,” he said. “I want to know if I am going to live after I die. I want to know if I’m going to have an eternal family with my spouse and our kids.”

The difficulty lies in knowing that God exists and is there to provide answers to such important questions. As Abner has pondered the existence of God, his process has been a very logical one.

“There either is a God or there’s not, and I think the answer to that questions is important, if not the most important answer that we can get in our lives,” Abner said. “And if there is a God who cares about us, why wouldn’t He want us to know about Him? And why wouldn’t He want to answer us and let us know that He cares about us?”

“In looking for truth, whether it’s in the research that I do or whether it’s in my personal life of what decisions are best to make, I think I turn to God very frequently to get answers,” he said.

As Abner has turned to God for answers, reassurance and help, he has felt God’s presence in his life, and he trusts that he can always receive direction. Trusting his past experiences, Abner has gained a greater understanding of who God is. Abner strongly believes that he can have a personal relationship with Him, which knowledge allows him to approach his questions and concerns with confidence.

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