Asking Can Be Hard Day 1: Asking Questions
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Jeremiah 33:3, ESV)
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7, ESV)
I sat in the classroom with what I’m sure was a puzzled look on my face. There was such a jumble of numbers on the board, and even though the professor had painstakingly gone over the order for solving the equation, it just didn’t make any sense to me. Bewildered, I scanned the classroom for others who looked unsure, possibly raising their hands to ask questions. No one else did, so there was no way I was going to expose my confusion to a classroom full of strangers and begin asking questions which would surely garner confusing answers. “I’ll just ask someone else,” I said to myself, “but I will not ask right here, right now.”
Why is it so hard, at times, to ask questions? I think the bottom line is that when we do, we are acknowledging we don’t know something, and this may wound our pride. Questions may make us feel stupid or inadequate; neither is true. In fact, we will never learn anything new if we aren’t willing to ask questions. In regards to our faith, asking questions is the only way we will learn more about the God we serve and worship and about His Word. Our point in asking should be with a desire to understand better, not to stir up problems among our family of faith.
Not every question we ask regarding our faith will have a concrete answer. The reason? We are humans and our minds are not able to completely comprehend the mind of God. We can answer many questions with truths found in Scripture, while others must merely be left to faith; that’s true no matter what you claim to believe.
For example, I believe in the creation account found in Genesis 1: God created the heavens and the earth in six literal days, resting on the seventh. An atheist may claim to believe in the Big Bang Theory: everything came from nothing and no one created it. Both beliefs essentially fall on faith because we were not there to see what happened. For me, it makes a lot more sense to believe in a Creator than in the idea that an explosion caused all of this order, beauty and design. Ultimately, we must choose what we believe based on the information we collect along the way, so asking questions is important.
Questions are important in relationships as well. We will not get to know someone if we aren’t willing to ask questions. And going further along, we won’t continue to stay well connected to those we stop asking questions to. In order to understand someone, we must know what they are thinking, and yet oftentimes we are afraid to ask. Can I encourage you to ask anyway? I say this to myself as well, as I often hate to ask questions in case I don’t like the answers or irritate people with my curiosity.
When it comes to asking serious questions in life, we may go to a parent, a close friend, our spouse, or maybe a sibling for answers or advice. It’s so helpful to bounce questions off others and see what information they may have to help us find answers. This a great tool and one we should definitely utilize, but I think we often fail to remember how God wants to hear our questions too. Our Scripture references above encourage us to seek Him out with the questions we have. It’s almost like He’s saying, “Just ask Me! I want to help you find the answers you’re looking for!”
When I’m asking my grown children questions, I feel like I have a limit. One is acceptable, maybe even two, and occasionally three. But after that, they get exasperated and don’t want to give me any further information. Honestly, I usually have many more on my mind but I know when I’ve reached the limit. The great news is that God never feels that way. We can ask as many questions as we want and He never tires of us; He never shuts us out. We are encouraged to ask Him, and when we do, He promises to tell us “great and hidden things we have not known.”