God is used to hearing and tolerating our many human questions. Prime example: Job. God listens to questions uttered by Job and his friends throughout chapters 3 through 37 of this Old Testament book.
Then, in chapter 38, God has a few questions for them, such as: “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Who kept the sea insides its boundaries? Do you know where the gates of death are located?”
When I throw my questions heavenward to God, sometimes I wonder if I’m rude, disrespectful, brash, even insulting to him. How dare I question the God of the universe?
But I often do. And I know he’s not surprised or baffled.
Probably the most frustrating question of all. And by the way, this questions God’s sovereignty. He is in control, and he already has the plan. The answer to this question may not be mine to know. In this life. Or ever. God created and is crafting the why. If he chooses to reveal that to me, okay. If not, okay. He’s got it, even when I don’t get it.
2) Do you see what’s happening here?
This is a pointless question that questions God’s character. Of course, he sees and knows and understands. He’s omniscient. He knows and sees everything. He has unlimited understanding, knowledge, awareness, and insight. I’m not, and I don’t. This is where my faith comes in. Regardless of what I’m seeing and experiencing, he already knows what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. He’s got it, even when I don’t get it.
3) When will this change/end/resolve?
God’s timing is perfect. My impatience is not. My trust in God is the key to living with uncertainty, with what seems like endless difficulty. Remember the hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”? I woke up singing it this morning. But the bigger question is: Do I really believe that he’s got it, even when I don’t get it?
4) How will you use me to work out your plan and purposes?
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. This is a question of cooperation with what God is doing. God wants to reveal these answers to me. And God rejoices when I do seek to work with him instead of against him. He’s got it, and he’s going to help me get it.
As I ask these questions, I see a line ― one I must be careful not to cross.
God created me as a curious creature. Questioning is part of who I am and how I learn. And when I ask a question, I’m not satisfied until I get an answer. Maybe I’m more like Job and his friends than I realized!
When I question who God is, his authority, his wisdom, that’s when I cross the line I don’t want to cross. God is God, beginning and end, eternal Lord. I must not question that.
When I question what is happening, my feelings, where I got off track, how I can make a situation better, what I can do to share the love of Christ, then I’m seeking God and his will. We are in a conversation, a dialog, Creator with created. Those are questions I need to ask so that I can grow.
Since I realized this difference, my communication with God has grown beyond one-sided rantings. I may ask, but I also must listen for what he wants to say to me ― as I pray, through his Word, through the teachers he places in my life.
Just as a three-year-old asks questions non-stop in order to learn, I have the privilege of asking God questions because I am his child. I also must ask without expectation of answers and trust him with my entire being.
What are some questions you’re asking God? What answers have you heard from him?
“But I am like an olive tree, growing in the house of God; I trust in his constant love forever and ever. I will always thank you, God, for what you have done; in the presence of your people, I will proclaim that you are good” (Psalm 52:8-9, a psalm of David).