Job had many questions; God can handle his children asking. David had questions and accused God of leaving him alone; God is not scared off by our confrontation. Jesus, through blood-sweat and tears asked God for another way and told Him this was too much to bear; God, through His pain, loved us enough to keep his promise and provide a way out. Paul suffered; he was beat, battered, persecuted and imprisoned; God doesn’t always remove our troubles, but promises to be our strength through them. One of the things I have always respected about Paul, is that he never claimed to have all of the answers or to have figured it all out. Instead, Paul proclaims the opposite, by admitting to having not arrived and having not yet attained. Each one of the above men, and many more in the Bible, questioned God at one time or another. Even Jesus did – twice. Once in the garden and once on the cross. I think we are so afraid to approach The Lord with questions, but we really shouldn’t be. Questions do not imply that we don’t believe, but that we are humans, with very limited understanding. God is not uncomfortable or ill prepared in handling his children’s questions.
I think of two men in the Bible right off the bat when approaching this topic – David and Peter.
David questioned anything and everything. Every doubt he had, he lifted up to The Lord, and we can see it so clearly in the psalms. He accused God of leaving him, and he asks Him repeatedly where He is and how He could let certain things happen. God didn’t turn away from David during these times of doubt. Instead, David earns a beautiful title in God’s kingdom, when he is called ‘a man after Gods own heart.’
Then we’ve got Peter; the disciple who pretended a lot; who esteemed himself highly and boasted about his love for the Christ. Unlike David, Peter had all the answers. His eyes were on himself most of the time, and ‘self’ is what motivated him to do many of the things he did. He wanted to do everything Jesus did, but the confidence he possessed was false. This is why Peter failed so many times by doing or saying the wrong thing. He pretended to be strong instead of allowing Christ to be his strength, and this led him to go as far as denying Christ. Peter did eventually repent, and he went on to spread the gospel to many hurting people. There’s always an opportunity to let God change us.
The point is that we have our own choice to make. We can choose to go before God, naked and empty, admitting to Him that we have questions and fears; or we can go before him all put together; pretending to know it all and to have every answer.
I have chosen to be honest before my God. Real, pure, genuine faith in The Lord is what I desire and hope to attain. My faith has been tested and tried, and I have asked many questions. Through my pain and my struggle, I am still being refined. All artificial impurities are being exposed and thrown aside.
Anyone can be a replica, an imposter, a poser. Anyone can fake it. I know this because I’ve been there before. But, fake will not last; it is not real. When it goes through the fire, it will be found out. It’s of no value to anyone, and will depreciate the very life it has invaded. Before we know it, we’ll be capsized, with no substance to stand on.
If I wasn’t asking questions, I’d be pretending before God and before all of you. I may fool all of you and I may even fool myself, but I could never fool God. He knows my heart. He knows the pain, the hurt, the doubt and the fear that overcomes me everyday. God is unshakeable and unchangeable, and our questions don’t scare Him or stump Him. They simply cause us to unload the heaviness we carry around with us. Why pretend before the God who created me? Why run from the One I can turn to? Why hide from the only One who sees me? I will not ‘fake it ’til I make it,’ because then I’ll never really make it. I will not pretend my questions away; I won’t run or hide from them, either. What I will do is ask them; and wait patiently for The Lord, who hears my cries. He is able and willing to carry our burdens, so I will let him carry mine.