January 31, 2014

When You Have More Questions Than Answers

This year, women have presented me with questions that I haven't had answers to. A mom is dying: Why, if God can heal? Prayers go unanswered: Why, if God is good? Doubts: Why, if God can reveal Himself? The list goes on--marital discord, decades-old grief, sexual abuse--and I've strained under the weight, wishing I had precise, bullet-pointed answers, but having just empathetic tears and my own questions to add.
I don't know the answers, but something else entirely is becoming clear: we can question, we will question, but how we question is the most important part.

We can take our questions to God, wait one moment for Him to bind up the wound or help us understand, but walk away if He doesn't answer instantly. We know we've given up too quickly when we turn to secondary (and often false) hopes to make things right in our hearts. We think somehow other people will have just the right answer or the fun will take the hurt away or controlling our circumstances will feel better than the chaos we're in. But these just compound the hurts. I've seen it happen.

The only real option is to take our questions to God, to lay out our hurts and anger and doubts and frustrations, and not just for a moment, but over and over and over again. Here's my broken heart, Lord. You're the only One who can change it, so I'm going to keep coming here, I'm going to keep waiting on You. I won't turn away to anyone or anything else. We ask for the heart change, fully aware we can't force it, we can't force Him. We ask, and we wait, as long as it takes, we wait.

And one day, we realize our hearts have shifted, and hope has come in where darkness once was. I've seen it happen. And it makes me want to dance and sing, knowing that we serve a God of the heart, who has the ability to redeem the darkest of dark. It girds me for when I am the questioner, when I am the one who has to wait. And it reaffirms the truth that I've known (and now seen): "Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in Me will not be disappointed" (Isaiah 49:23).

Hold on, dear sister. Wait for Him.