I was sitting in a paediatric ward with my son over the weekend, wondering “why am I here?” Look I knew WHY I was there, Joel had bronchial pneumonia and his lungs were not doing their job and so there I was in the middle of what felt like a mess and the majority of my moments with God found me asking WHHHYYYYY am I here? Again?
Now I know most “good pastors and leaders” don’t ask WHY? They know how to power on and make sure everyone thinks they’re super human and perfect but I figure I’ve already thrown out that stereotype, so here I am pretty exposed- asking God WHY? I feel like we’ve limited WHY to getting the answers behind what we’re experiencing. The definite reason. The perfect clarity. But what if our why was a quest for greater perspective. What if our “why’s” could lead us toward meaning and joy even if we don’t get the exact answers that we are looking for. What if the heart of our “why’s” could give us the bigger picture? To help see, perhaps, what all this chaos is about and what it could possibly mean for the long game of life? I’m asking God why and for the first time in what seems like forever, I feel His delight in my questions. There is no shame. No condemnation. No accusation. Just a sense that He’s beckoning me towards Himself one question, one moment at a time.
I used to think questioning God was weak. I used to believe that good Christians never questioned the God of the universe but then, then I encountered this idea called grace and I realised the Jesus that I love and live for is just that- GRACE. Grace, simply put, is the unmerited favour of God, embodied in the person of Jesus. And it is this grace that has helped me see God’s heart. That He welcomes all of me to Himself. The questioning. Frustrated. Disappointed. Somewhat confused me. The little girl in me who is just trying to make sense of her existence. The mother in me that just wants it all to be right and well. The leader in me that looks for greater understanding in my own experience so that I can call others to truth and wholeness and peace.
I used to think that God couldn’t handle my weak, somewhat sinful, doubting side. I now know that a good Father beckons his children home despite their condition. A good Father does not hold us off at a distance, his door is always open. I used to think God would pass me by if I couldn’t make myself right but now know and believe that God is ever present and attentive even when I am not at my best. Especially in my weakness and even in my pain. He stands with wide open arms even when I come loaded with emotion. Because He’s a good Dad, the best kind.
I don’t know what you may be facing today. Maybe you’ve lost someone or something and you think it’s derailed your future? Maybe you’ve been waiting so long for your miracle and your hope has grown weary? Maybe you’ve grown desperate as you’ve longed for something? I don’t know. But what I’d love you to hear today is you can move towards this God, who is ultimately a Father and bring Him all of you. The questions. The longing. The hurt. The joy. The messy. He can handle it. He wants you to share it. And then He wants you to find the freedom from and within it.
I don’t know everything, but this I know for sure. We will not find our greatest satisfaction in our answered questions but rather in the process of the asking. Communicating our heart and sharing our need will bring us comfort and peace, if we dare to open our deepest hearts and expose our vulnerability. I’m learning to make peace with the unanswered questions and despite the discomfort of the unknowing I choose to take all of me, even the why’s, to God anyway.
“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.” Matthew 11:28-30