Questions! Life leaves us with many questions. Why is it this way? What will happen if…..? Why didn’t……? Some questions motivate new directions and investigations which lead to very helpful discoveries in a variety of fields. Others seem to hang in the air with no reasonable answer. Those can be really frustrating, especially when in relation to our Lord. It is always interesting in reading the questions asked to Jesus in the Gospels. Most often He didn’t answer them directly as the questioner would have liked. Rather, He points to something deeper, something more necessary to be dealt with first. And some questions don’t seem to get answered at all. It is those questions that turn us back to truths we already know and believe – that God does love us, that He has given the life of His Son to redeem us, that He cares deeply about all that touches us, that His will is perfect and that He will bring all things to their right conclusion for our good. It is in these truths that all of our questions rest. We pray. We do all we are able, but we live in trust of the One who is our life. We can be at peace even when all our questions don’t get answered.
The Psalmist asks, “What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,…”(8:4-6) The Psalmist question is one we would do well to ponder more frequently. The vast majority of people say they believe in God. They also say that, by whatever means, He did create us. But why? Most people also believe that there is some kind of life beyond our earthly years. If we really are intentional creations of God, what does it mean that we will occupy a life after death? Does God have some purpose for us in eternity? Think about it. The answers to these kinds of questions makes a huge difference in the way we conduct our lives now.
For Christians Jesus is the center of life. We do not believe in a general god, an impersonal force, a generic being far removed from daily life. The God we know is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has revealed Himself to us in His triune nature as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier. That means it is He who has made us. He has gone to the most extreme lengths to save us from our sins. And He continues to work daily to bring us more deeply into His life. This truth never ceases to amaze me. Why would God be this way? Why not the capricious deities of the Greeks and Romans, or the Force in Star Wars? Much of the ways of our God are hidden to us. Even so, what we do know is more than sufficient for all of this life. In Jesus Christ we see a self sacrificing love that has come to do for us all that we are incapable of doing for ourselves. In the light of that love we have peace, and can leave the rest of our questions for our Lord’s Kingdom.
I am always comforted by the disciples of our Lord. They always seem to ask the same dumb questions I would have asked if I had been there, and still have a way of asking now. I know Jesus got frustrated at times. He once said, “Are you so dull? don’t you see….”(Mark 7:18) But He also showed them great patience, never giving up on them. Even after the resurrection, standing in His presence, Matthew says that “some doubted.”(28:17) Yet it was these same disciples who spread the Gospel of salvation throughout all of the world. The Lord is patient, working with us day by day, item by item, stage by stage, bringing us more deeply into His life. I, and I expect you also, will have a lot more dumb question, but the grace of God works in them all, until all questions and all needs come to an end in the presence of Jesus.
We are Americans! We can figure things out. If there is a problem, we find a solution. There is no frontier too great for our Yankee ingenuity! But have you ever noticed how many questions in life we can’t answer? Especially the “why” questions. Why did this happen to me? Why was this one taken and not another? Or even the “how” questions. How would I react if I were in that situation? And the more we hurt, the less we can find a sensible answer. Our Yankee ingenuity just doesn’t help. Jesus told the disciple on a number of occasions that He was going to suffer, die, and be raised again from the dead. The disciples responded, “No. This can’t happen to you, Lord.” It didn’t make any sense. There was not real answer for them at the time as to why that should be. But there was a reason, even if it was beyond their eyes. And more importantly, there was a gracious God beyond that why question, who would ultimately make sense of it. So many questions we can’t answer, but a God of wisdom and love that is greater than all of our questions.