If you could ask God a question, what would it be?
Go ahead; write it in the comments of this blog below. Take time to ponder and wordsmith if you want, type it in and then press enter or just scribble it down on a piece of scrap paper, crumple it up and throw it away. Either way, you can’t really “send it” or “throw it”. The question lingers and hopefully the answer will eventually linger as well.
If there’s no answer right now, my prayer is that wondering or even doubting will lead to leaning further into God’s wisdom and not into discouragement or disillusion. (Proverbs 3:5-6) There’s a tension that God lets linger when questions are on the table. Why does he do that?
Sometimes when we express those deeper questions it reflects a longing for the world to be reconciled or made right. The world groans for that day according to Romans 8. It seems God would move us from groaning for our own “personal world” to be made right into a groaning for the world, his world, to be made right.
At times it’s as if God has said to me, “Go ahead and question; long for answers in your personal life and for your family and the things that matter to you. Then, let me show you how I long for the people that matter to me. Then, let’s make a difference together.”
Ask your questions. Plead, cry, grieve, doubt and deliberate. Ancients of the faith did. Then, in the aftermath of our own questions, listen for his.
It’s when we turn our attention to God’s questions that we find peace in the tension. It’s when we turn our desire for the answers into the desire for his perspective that we become hungry and thirsty for the right things.
If that sounds trite or churchy, it might be necessary to return to the first paragraph and continue working through your own questions and struggle. There is a deep work God wants to do in and through our struggles and questions.
I remember reading a book that urged me to make the most of suffering and I just wasn’t ready to. I put my bookmark in the page, shut the book hard and threw it across the room. Eventually, there is grace to work on our own struggles and co-labor with Christ in the world. Don’t rush your own process if you’re struggling today.
What are the questions God asks?
Going through the Gospels and making a note of everything Jesus asked in conversations would be a great study.
There is also an “at-a-glance” outline in Isaiah 58. God’s people are asking why it seems he is not listening to them and blessing them and moving heaven and earth to help them. He moves them into his questions which will lead to the deeper answers for which they long.
For a seven part youth group curriculum that guides students through dealing with their own troubles, celebrating God’s work through Christ, true worship, a true fast and “kingdom living in the middle of normal”, please download the Youth Unlimited Student Curriculum at www.thereforego.com/downloads.
“Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it for bowing [b]one’s head like a reed
And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?
Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord?
6 “Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?
7 “Is it not to divide your bread [c]with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 “Then your light will break out like the dawn,
And your recovery will speedily spring forth;
And your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 “Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
What questions are you asking God today?
What questions is God asking you?