2019-06-24
Unsplash.com

Another pair of arms wrapped around me in sympathy. The same whispered words escaped from her lips that I’d already heard many times. “I know we aren’t supposed to question God, but . . . “ Her words faded off to a sigh.

Silence confirmed neither of us knew the answer to the unspoken question.

Why did God allow this to happen? No woman should ever have to bury both of her children and her husband on the same day.

But I did.

How could this be your will? Why did you leave me behind? What am I supposed to do now? Questions filled my mind. None of them had answers. And many people didn’t seem to think I could even ask the questions of the only One who knew the answers. Where did that leave me?

I always asked my Dad questions.

My Dad said I could always ask questions. And I was good at it. After all, I had a great teacher. I learned from watching him. He asked questions everywhere, of anybody.

“You got some peanut butter in that kitchen of yours? I’d like some on my BLT.” Then he watched the perplexed waitress. At first, she would think he was kidding, because his blue eyes sparkled with orneriness. But he wasn’t kidding. He liked peanut butter with his bacon. In most cases, he talked the waitress into getting it for him too. He succeeded in disarming her with his grin. Before you knew it, he asked some question about her family and she answered it.

Sometimes it was embarrassing.

Like the evening he pulled up beside a parked car on the country road near our home. “Need some help?” he asked.

The young man with his arm around the girl beside him stammered, “No sir.” I hid behind the headrest in the backseat of our car.

“They probably didn’t need help Dad,” I sighed.

“Well, they might’ve,” he said. I knew he was making sure everyone in that car was safe. He kept a close eye on things around him – including me. Asking a question gave him the chance to check on things.

So, what would Dad say now, if he were still here? Would he tell me to ask questions?

Without a doubt.

I realize that not everyone had a good, kind father on earth. But I did. So, I know that good, kind fathers welcome their little girls’ questions. If that’s the case, then it’s ok to ask our Heavenly Father questions too. Because I believe He is a good, kind God.

So, I asked Him all the questions of my heart.

Questions helped me learn.

Questions come when we don’t understand something. That’s why we teach children to ask questions. In fact, teachers often say, “The only dumb question is the one that’s not asked.” Questions correct misunderstandings, give us new knowledge, clarify explanations, and give an instructor opportunity to explain the lesson in different ways for different types of learners.

God’s children come in all shapes and sizes, languages and cultures, skill levels and ages. He knows every single one and understands their thoughts and feelings. Nothing of their past is hidden from His sight, nothing in their future will surprise Him.

He uses lots of different teaching methods, but storytelling seems to be one of His favorites. Many of the stories in the Bible tell us about people who asked God questions.

When an angel told Mary, she would soon conceive and give birth to a baby boy, Mary asked, “How can this be?” It didn’t make sense to her. How can a virgin be found with child? She received her answer straight from an angel, without reprimand. God knew it was beyond her understanding, so He explained simply, but without detail, just like a parent explains a complexity to a small child. (Luke 1:26-38)

Abraham questioned God’s ability to keep His promise. Years had gone by since God promised Abraham and Sarah a son. In fact, He promised so many descendants that no one would be able to count them. But nothing happened for years. So, when God came to Abraham again, promising to be his great reward, a frustrated Abraham responded with “What can you give me since I remain childless?” Here, too, God responded without anger. He reaffirmed the promise though, encouraging him to believe when he did not understand. (Genesis 15:1-6)

God patiently answered Abraham’s and Mary’s questions because He knew they didn’t understand. He told them enough to help them continue to trust Him. Their faith was well placed. God kept His promises.

Stories like these assured me God would not get angry with my frustrated questions. It gave me the courage to ask God why He allowed such tragedy to happen to me. God told me enough to help me continue to trust Him.

Does God ever get annoyed with my questions like Dad did?

My Dad sometimes tuned me out because I talked a little too much. I must admit I did that with my children too. Just the other day, I tried to watch a movie with a four-year-old on my lap. It didn’t work very well. She asked incessant questions about the movie which I couldn’t answer because I couldn’t hear the television over her. Guess what I did?