Why did that sweet baby have to be born with so many complications? How long until a dear child with attachment disorder will be able to have a meaningful connection with the parents who sacrificed so much to adopt her? If God is good and powerful, why won’t He just switch my same sex attraction to heterosexual attraction? How long will these parents have to separated from their adopted son who is stuck in the Congo?
These are a mere sampling of deep, honest questions that have been posed to me or around me in the past two weeks. The nature of life in the already/not yet kingdom of God assures us that we will have many complicated, lingering questions for God regarding His will and ways both in our individual worlds and the greater world encompassing them all. The compassionate nature of God assures us that we are free to bring our questions directly to Him, even in their most raw state.
As the disciples were peppering Jesus with earnest questions leading up to his immanent death, Jesus attempted to answer their questions according to their ability to receive and understand His answers; however, He knows that His answers are not the type of answers His dear friends were requesting. He goes on to make an interesting promise. “Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy from you. In that day you will not question Me about anything.” John 16:22-23.
There is a day coming when we no longer ask questions of God because we will have the double blessing of being fully known and fully knowing God. I am convinced that one look from His eyes will be enough to melt away all doubt and erase every lingering question remaining from our confusing time on earth. But that day, that beautiful day, has not yet come.
As it stands today, we are free to cue the questions, to bring them honestly before a secure Father who anticipates our weakness and our doubts and acknowledges our highly limited perspective. The Psalms are rife with examples for those who are unsure how to begin honestly expressing our questions to God. God lovingly invites us to bring our questions to Him; He does not chide us for being limited in knowledge and faith.
Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. Psalm 103:13-14.
He invites us to cue the questions, but He simultaneously commands us to cling to the Cross.
There are countless things we do not know as citizens in the already/ not yet kingdom; but there is one thing we know clearly. The fullest manifestation of God has been given to us in the Cross. God has made it painstakingly clear who He is and what His stance towards His children is in the life, death and resurrection of Christ. Watchmen Nee powerfully expressed God’s clear answer to every question we bring to Him.
“God makes it quite clear in His Word that he has only one answer to every human need – his Son, Jesus Christ….It will help us greatly, and save us from much confusion, if we keep constantly before us this fact, that God will answer all our questions in one way and one way only, namely, by showing us more of His Son.”
If we cue the questions but don’t cling to the clarity of God’s character and love shown on the cross, we will become bitter and jaded. On the other hand, if we skip over the raw, honest questions in our hearts and minds and jump prematurely to the answer of the Cross, we miss an opportunity to be brought into the depths of intimacy that often only come from wrestling in the presence of God.