Read books like Habakkuk or Isaiah or Job or Psalms and you’ll see question after question after question:
"Are you there, God?"
"Has your unfailing love vanished forever?"
"Have you forgotten to be merciful?"
They’re good men—the writers of these books—men who love God, men who pursue God, men who speak for God to His people. God loves them, commends them, uses them for His glory.
I can only conclude, having considered their questions (and commiserated with their confusion) that God, our almighty mystery of a God, invites questions.
Today, I see the church shying away from thorny questions, questions like “Why do people suffer?” or, more along the lines of the prophets, “God, we’re suffering, where are you?”
Some people say questions evidence doubt. Maybe some do. However, asking God, “Where are you?” comes not out of doubt but faith, faith that God is Who He said He is and will do what He said He’d do. When we have faith, we will inevitably have questions.
Last night my small group made a list of our questions—things we’re longing for God to explain, stuff we just can’t wrap our heads around. After compiling the list we didn’t feel less sure of our God. We felt lighter for being able to share our heavy questions. And we felt respect for a God who defies simple answers.
I think we avoid avoid questions for two reasons:
1. Because we’re terrified God’s not there
2. We’re scared He’s not the God He’s led us to believe He is.
And isn’t that the very definition of doubt?
Far more often, the people who won’t ask questions are the doubters.
I wrote on Sunday, listening to Justin preach on this topic, “We are not God’s PR team.” We are not responsible for candy-coating God, for making Him look better, more palatable, or more electable. We need not worry that our questions will make Him look bad.
I think of my kids and the way they whine and cry for my attention and my love, the way they stomp and pout when they can’t understand what I’m doing (or not doing), the way they ask questions all day long—Are we there yet? Why not? Do I get apple juice, too? Why did London get the big piece?
They ask me for juice because I’m the person who provides the juice. They ask where we’re going because I’m the one who makes the plans. They ask why things aren’t fair because I’m the arbiter of justice.
If one day my kids stop asking me questions (and likely one day they will) I’ll know our relationship has changed, that they’ve stopped being dependent on me, that they’ve found other sources of wisdom and direction, or that they’ve lost confidence in my answers or the likelihood that I’ll provide an answer.
My children turn to me because they trust me. If they don’t trust me, they’ll turn somewhere else.
And that’s why I ask God questions, because I trust Him.