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Our questions and God's answers

Mike Shelton • Jun 28, 2020 at 7:41 AM

Editor’s Note: With so many churches in our area having to suspend worship services during the coronavirus pandemic, we are asking local pastors to partner with us in bringing a daily message of hope and comfort to readers during this difficult time.

A man, after a painful divorce and job loss, was struggling with his faith. Reflecting on his journey, he told a friend, “I was mad at God. I wondered where He was. But I got to know God better. He didn’t answer my questions; He gave me better questions.”

That man acquired wisdom. But we would prefer answers. We have enough questions as it is. What happens to the questions that we do not ask? They get buried. They rumble inside us until they surface. They will not stay buried. Today we may be asking more questions than normal: Will this pandemic ever stop? When will our streets be safe? And when will our world be less chaotic? Voiced or left unsaid, we will always have questions.

People in the Bible ask God many questions. Abraham asks, Shall a child be born to an old man and Sarah conceive a baby at her age? Moses asks, If I say that the Lord sent me, what if they ask what your name is? The Hebrew prophets ask all sorts of questions: Why do the innocent suffer? Why does evil prosper? How long will we cry to God and He not hear? God did not give them answers; He gave them reminders. He reminded them of who was God and who was not. Above all, He assured them that He was with them and knowing that God was present was the only answer worth having.

In a way, only people of prayer ask God questions. They are the only ones who care enough to voice them. It is a sign of our love for Him. God hears our prayers and His answers are often revealed in our lives. He does not ignore our questions. He shifts the focus from what we ask to what we should hear. In other words, He turns questions into lessons in wisdom.

Mike Shelton is the pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Kingsport.

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