I’ve never been comfortable with questions, and gray, and lack of resolution.
Questions scared me. Because, well…what if God, you know…wasn’t big enough?
I’m not by nature a doubter, but life has led me through gray, led me through “no answers”, through pound-on-the-floor dark frustration, and although I may have faltered, God hasn’t.
Recently we were visiting our daughters and were able to attend their church, the District Church, in Washington D.C. Love this vibrant faith community of young professionals committed to being kingdom-bringers in their inner-city neighborhood!
Earlier this summer they did a message series called “My Most Important Question” which I was able to listen to on podcast.
Each week, community members shared a question that has confounded, compelled, grieved, motivated, and/or angered them.
Every story needs conflict (or mess, if you will) and these questions represented the truest messiness of their life stories. Some of the questions included:
- Where’s my joint (Where’s my community? Where do I belong?)
- Is Jesus enough? (And if so, why am I chasing after money, career etc.?)
- How do I handle my fears?
- Where is God in cancer? (When life doesn’t meet my expectations, can I trust God is working for good?)
- Can God use ordinary me?
I thought this series was fantastic because these followers of Jesus each modeled something vitally important.
They embraced the tension between the real and the ideal, the now and the not yet. The failure of formulas, but the triumph of faith.
They didn’t give up and normalize their current reality, and just wallow in frustration and uncertainty.
But they also didn’t normalize the ideal and claim a fake victory over all doubt.
Each of them said, “This is my reality, AND this is how Jesus is speaking into it. These are my questions, but this is the truth I’m trying to cling to.”
I loved the way one guy said it. He said, “I can’t tie this up all neat. I can’t put a period, but I can put an ellipses.” This isn’t the end of the story.
Each of them in one way or another, interwoven with their personal narratives, said…
- Mine is a small part of a bigger story I can’t completely grasp.
- Jesus has gone before me, experiencing every kind of pain.
- Jesus questioned His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. It’s safe to voice our questions.
- God meets me where I am. Formulas may fail, but He doesn’t.
- Lord I believe. Help my unbelief.
Nope, I’ve never been super comfortable with questions. They scared me. I went to seminary thinking I’d get ALL THE ANSWERS, but I came out with more questions than I started with. God, it turns out, is truly beyond me. (go figure!)
Every day driving home from school I had an old Chris Rice song on repeat in my car. Over and over I sang along,
“Lord if You’re there, I wish you’d know me. And Lord if You’re there, I wish You’d show me. I hope You don’t mind me asking the questions.
Cuz I figure You’re big enough. And I am not big enough.”
What about you? What question are you wrestling with today?
What is God saying to you in the midst of your uncertainty?