by Diane Eble
Do you ever ask God questions?
I do, all the time. At least one per week, usually many more.
Last week, I shared with you a question I had. The question, â€œWhy did Jesus have to die?â€
At the time, it was a burning question. One Iâ€™d had for a long time. Itâ€™s not like I didnâ€™t know the â€œrightâ€ answer. In my head, I did. But on a deeper level, on the level where you really know and never doubt againâ€”on that level, I didnâ€™t know.
But you know what? Much as Iâ€™d pondered the question, somehow, Iâ€™d never really asked it of God. Once I did, I had that deep, soul-satisfying answer I sought.
Within 24 hours.
I have heard it said that the size of the question determines the size of the results. The question of why Jesus had to die is at the heart of Christianityâ€”a big question. The result was a deep sense of certainty, a renewed appreciation at the depth of my being of what the Savior of the world did for me. For you. For the whole world.
The answer was simple (most profound answers usually are). Though we can do much to â€œimproveâ€ ourselves and even the world, itâ€™s not a question of being better.
Itâ€™s a question of a relationship with the Creator and Center of the universe, who is a personal Being and who is totally, utterly perfect in every way. That Being wants a relationship with the creatures he made in his own image.
Problem is, the creatures arenâ€™t perfect. Many donâ€™t care a whit about their Creator. Fact is, most of them want to be Creators themselves. And theyâ€™re very busy working very hard to try to make that happen.
We have this innate desire to be perfect, it seems. (Perhaps, because we crave the lost union with the One who is perfect?)
Somehow, we canâ€™t quite pull it off. So far nobodyâ€™s answers have convinced me that we are capable of making ourselves perfect, or even really good (though we keep trying).
Jesus died because human beings canâ€™t make themselves perfect enough to stand in the presence of a pure, holy God. He paid the penalty we deserved for rejecting God and choosing our own wayâ€”the penalty of death. When Jesus conquered death by rising again, he paved the way for imperfect human beings to stand before a holy God. In great joy, I might add (as Scripture does). It is the same joy that Jesus fixed his eyes on to get him through his terrible suffering (see Hebrews 12:2). And he shares it with us!
So, I asked the question, and now the answer has come to my heart, not just my head.
I have had so many other questions, personal questions that no one but God could answer. When I take them to him, I wait expectantly for an answer. Itâ€™s a wonderful thing to ask God a question, a burning question, and await the answer.
In my experience, he always does answer. Sometimes the answer is, â€œI canâ€™t reveal that to you yet,â€ but that in itself is an answer. Heâ€™s given me that answer many times, and it brings peace to my heart as I trust in his timing.
When I was young, I suffered rather severe acne. If you can believe it, I still have oily skin and acne, in middle age! I told Gene when he buries me, heâ€™ll have to tuck my acne cream in the casket. For years I asked God, â€œWhy have I had acne all but 11 years of my life?â€
Slowly the answer, the blessing has been revealed. Because I had acne, I read all I could about skin care. I learned at an early age that keeping in good health was one of the best things one can do. So I disciplined myself to avoid sugar and fatty foods, to enjoy eating right, to exercise. The by-product was, I didnâ€™t struggle with a weight problem. I also learned which were the purest products to use (and saved tons of money on skin care products and cosmetics, Iâ€™m sure).
Recently, someone complimented me on my complexion. I nearly fell out of my chair. My self-image never included â€œnice complexion.â€ She asked what my secret is. I said, â€œAcne.â€ The curse turned out to be a blessing.
What are your questions? Have you taken them to God specifically? I encourage you to do so, and then to watch and wait. You never know when or how or from where the answers will come. Thatâ€™s the joy of it. God has answered my questions in so many creative ways. If youâ€™re looking expectantly for an answer, you will recognize it when it comes. And it will bring the gifts of joy and peace with it.
Copyright (c) 2006 by Diane Eble. All rights reserved.