If you’ve ever been to college, or if you think back to high school, probably you can remember a time you shared a class with the kid who knew it all. Or even if it wasn’t in a class, we all have those types of people in our lives, right? I wish I could say I was never that person, but I think we all have been in different ways….Now, in classes, even though I got a lot of things wrong, I asked tons of questions. Not because I was trying to be a teacher’s pet or anything!! In reality, I usually just wanted to “catch” my teachers in something. It was as much about learning as it was about competition.
In school, we’re expected to ask questions, aren’t we? In fact, teachers usually love it when students ask them questions because it means they’re engaged, learning, and growing.
But let’s be real — for some reason it often feels totally different with God, doesn’t it? So often we feel like we can’t ask God questions, or at least not hard ones…Why is it so different when we ask things of God?
I know for me, sometimes it just feels wrong to question God – for any number of reasons.
If I’m asking God for something I desperately want, I worry I’m being selfish. Or I’m afraid I’m getting my hopes up, and I’ll be disappointed.
If I’m questioning God about something he did (or didn’t do) in my life, I sometimes worry I’m being unfaithful or a “bad Christian.”
Sometimes I even keep from asking because I’m afraid to know the answer…What if God doesn’t give me what I want or need? Or what if I actually have to forgive that person who hurt me?
I think sometimes we worry how God will “react” to our questions. Because that’s what we do. The crazy thing is…questioning God is actually a really healthy thing for us to do. Why? I’ll tell you why by asking you another question: How can you get to know anyone without asking them questions?
That question was rhetorical, by the way. We can only get to know another person by asking them questions, whether it’s about who they are, where our relationship stands, or what we’re going to do together.
We get ourselves into a weird spot when we treat God like he’s an impersonal being, who reacts to things the way we personally do. Here’s the truth: God is a personal God, so we get to know him the same way as other people! But he doesn’t react in the way we or other people do.
God’s not afraid of, ashamed of, or bothered by your questions.
I’m reminded of Hebrews 4:16, which says, “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
In other words, not only is it perfectly normal to ask God questions, we can question him with boldness!
The key to unlocking this kind of dynamic in our relationships with God, the key to asking him questions boldly, is just taking him at his word. If we trust that God is who he says he is, if we trust that he keeps his promises, then we can ask him anything we want. Because if we trust that God is good (who he says he is), and that he intends good for us in life (keeps his promises), then we don’t have anything to fear.
We can trust that whatever God’s answers to our questions are, they’re the best possible outcome for our lives.
So let’s question God boldly this week! Let’s trust him with our lives. Because God’s plans are usually different from ours – and always better.