Monday, October 21, 2013

Questioning God

Photo Credit: Oberazzi (Creative Commons)
I was reading Mark Buchanan's The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath, and was pondering this insight on listening to God in prayer:
And what does the Voice speak? More often than not, a question. God's curiosity is his most underexplored attribute. He's downright inquisitive, brimful with questions--some childlike blunt, asked in seeming naivete, others lawyerlike shrewd, asked with stealthy cunning. Many he asks at odd or awkward moments, moments of heightened danger or giddy elation or riveting shame, moments when my impulse--especially were I God--would be to command or announce. 
But God asks.
God asks.

God inquires.

God wonders aloud.

He's a questioning God, a God who desires relationship and conversation and approachability, who loves to hear His children. He doesn't need to ask, as if He didn't already know the answer. He has all the information, all the answers, all the power and control.

Yet still He asks. Why?

There's nothing that reveals a person's heart quite like a well-timed question. And God is interested in our hearts. He wants to pry ours open and introduce us to His own heart, to pour healing and grace and truth into the deepest reaches of our souls and invite us to ask and listen and experience His presence. This happens when our busy worlds are stopped in their tracks by a question that so quickly disarms us and creates a healthy spiritual disequilibration within us.

As I was reading the chapter, a question suddenly popped into my own mind, seeming out of the ether, interrupting my literary groove:

Do you trust me?

I dropped the book into my lap with a dual sense of alarm and awe. Earlier in the day (and, if I'm honest, for the past year) this very question has been in the back of my mind, a question of ifs--if God will provide, if He's good, if He will take care of my family, if He knows our needs and if He plans on meeting them. The question had broken through the barriers and blinders, immediately leaving me defenseless and vulnerable. Yet the question came not with a demanding or nagging tone, but with tenderness and wonderment.

Do you trust me?

There are moments where I don't. Whole days, even. He knows this. But, like the disciples when Jesus asked them about their allegiance to him, I can only respond as such: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Flustered, yet strangely relieved, I wiped the tears from the corners of my eyes and continued to read, grateful for the question and blessed by the answer.

Where are you? Why do you call me "good?" Who do you say I am? What do you want me to do for you? Do you want to be made well? Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?

When you pray, listen for the questions. The questioning God desires to share His heart with you.

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