On Asking God Questions

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, “Why did Jesus have to die?”

At the time, it was a burning question. One I’d had for a long time. It’s not like I didn’t know the “right” answer. In my head, I did. But on a deeper level, on the level where you really know and never doubt again—on that level, I didn’t know.

But you know what? Much as I’d pondered the question, somehow, I’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 Christianity—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 “improve” ourselves and even the world, it’s not a question of being better.

It’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 aren’t perfect. Many don’t care a whit about their Creator. Fact is, most of them want to be Creators themselves. And they’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 can’t quite pull it off. So far nobody’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 can’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 way—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. It’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, “I can’t reveal that to you yet,” but that in itself is an answer. He’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, he’ll have to tuck my acne cream in the casket. For years I asked God, “Why have I had acne all but 11 years of my life?”

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 didn’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, I’m sure).

Recently, someone complimented me on my complexion. I nearly fell out of my chair. My self-image never included “nice complexion.” She asked what my secret is. I said, “Acne.” 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. That’s the joy of it. God has answered my questions in so many creative ways. If you’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.

 

 

But Did He Have to DIE?

I have just returned from a service in which the focus was on a single event, and event that is at the heart of the Christian faith: the death of Jesus Christ.

A question haunts me.

Seems like every day I get some sort of advertisement for a way to become a better person. Richer, healthier, more positive, more focused, more successful, more loving. The self-help industry booms, and promises abound of the way to a new life, free of all the “negative energy” that weighs us down. The latest touts 11 Principles to get whatever you want in life and build a better world (in that order, I wonder?).

So, the question nags me: If we can make ourselves better on our own, did Jesus really have to die?

That question haunted Jesus himself, in a garden just before his horrific murder. Continue reading “But Did He Have to DIE?”

A Gift of Wisdom for Mothers

As you know if you’ve read this blog, I’ve been working for some time (too long!) on a book on personality type and mothering, with co-author Janet Penley.

I’m very happy to report, the book is now finished!

It’s called MotherStyles: Using Personality Type To Discover Your Parenting Strengths, and is published by DaCapo Lifelong Books. It is available on amazon and in bookstores as of NOW!

What will this book do for you (or a mother you know)?

Well, first I’ll tell you what this material did for me, starting way back in 1993 when I first met Janet and started pestering her to write such a book. Understanding personality type–especially my own, my husband’s, and my children’s–has enabled me to appreciate and build on the strengths of each of our types.

I also understand where we need outside help or perspective to shore up our weaknesses. I grasp our family dynamics better–particularly the greatest source of my ongoing frustration. Because Gene and I are the same type, I am often stretched in opposite directions, just toprovide the balance that every family system needs.

I draw from the material in this book, about energy management,
family dynamics, self-care and more, literally every day.

Here are some comments from some other moms who have also
found this material helpful:

“What a wonderful tool the concept of type is! I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to have this new paradigm in my head and to feel its implications seeping in, slowly filling reservoirs thathave been empty for as long as I can remember. Thank you.—“.Irene

“I now understand exactly why so many activities I have tried to enjoy did not work, why particular interpersonal frictions have occurred and why I generally feel like a misfit with most people. I now have a tool to make better choices in my life, to avoid being swayed by other peoplegetting enjoyment from something.”–Wendy

“I learned this information when my children were about ten and it was like the Red Sea parting. I could see my own preferred path to take through mothering. It showed me how to be happy with myself and gave me the confidence to go with my strengths. Instead of saying, I can’t orI don’t,, now I say, I’m very good at…. “–Joan

“This information has helped me to understand the differences between me and family members (and friends and other mothers at my kids’ school, and co-workers, and employers and employees, and—fill in the blank), so that my relationship with each of them is better/smoother/more forgiving/better communication/more
successful.”–.Mary

“I come from a family where the mom is one type, and one of the children is a completely different type. If only both were aware of the MotherStyles method. I truly believe they would have a much closer relationship. I also believe that my sibling would be a much more confident person.”–Anne

Give yourself, or a mom you know, an early Mothers Day gift. Get your copy of MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths either from your local bookstore (I know Borders has it, but call first to make sure), or get it from amazon.com for a 35 percent discount.

To happier and more effective parenting,

Diane