Questions – revisited

I have started to occasionally wake up very early again, or you might call it late. No doubt the current state of the world coupled with my own economic uncertainty coupled with my family’s uncertainties all contribute. Like almost everyone, I have a lot of questions and like almost everyone, I have a frustrating lack of answers.

Sound familiar? It did to me too. In fact, it took me back to a little over five years ago, a time when I found myself sitting alone in the dark of the wee hours of the night, Mac on my lap, asking God a lot of questions. Also doing a lot of venting, whining, and sometimes accusing. What emerged was a series of prayers and what I felt the Spirit answering in my heart. Background introductions were also included so that you, the reader, have some understanding of where I was coming from. Reflections on each section concluded each series. Below, I have shared the reflection on “Questions.” It re-resonated with me, and I hope and pray it will bring you peace and draw you closer to the Father who loves each of us unconditionally, even when the so-desperately asked questions don’t get their answers.

PS – I am thinking about doing a small update and then offering 2:47 a.m. as a paperback. Please let me know what you think. Thanks for reading.

No Direct Answers (from 2:47 a.m. Up Late with God. Available on Amazon Kindle reader)

Answers. They have always held a fascination for me. As a kid, one my favorite gifts every Christmas was a new almanac – a giant answer book. Two inches thick and full of answers – the biggest cities, World Series winners, and losers, for every year, the top movies and tons more – I loved them. I would pour through them by the hour, sometimes to answer a burning question, settle a dispute, or sometime to just randomly open and start absorbing answers to questions that hadn’t even been asked.

I’m still seeking answers, but to more specific questions. Almanacs provide facts and figures, but don’t have a section on living life, finding purpose or following God – all areas I still have a lot of questions on.

I took a long walk tonight. I love to walk, but have less frequently since the death of our beloved Tess nine months ago. Recently we had a new addition and she is eerily reminiscent of Tess in many ways. Smaller, jet-black and missing a hind leg, Piper the flat-coat retriever has joined our family and invaded our hearts. She, like all our pets, came from the rescue shelter. Originally named Miracle, she truly is a living one, bringing joy to our household, but Miracle as a name is a bit unwieldy so the kids settled upon Piper. New name notwithstanding, she is and always will be a living miracle to us as she dashes after tennis balls with all the grace, speed and joy of her four-legged counterparts.

Her arrival has rekindled my desire for long walks, but tonight I really needed to get out and get alone with God. I had a bone to pick and needed the space to do it. Piper and I walked the two blocks to the golf course trails and I headed down a secluded section. I started the bombardment immediately. Job had nothing on me when it came to questions, self-defense and self-pity directed squarely at Father, His intentions and His treatment of me.

I never could understand why God would have those casual chats with the devil anyway (Job 1 & 2). Did Satan just drop by for a cup of coffee every now and then and have a chat? In retrospect, maybe this is one of the greatest manifestations of God’s unchangeable love. Satan was and is still His son too, even after all the evil and pain he has caused on earth and to his Father, yet God did not deny him, but received and even listened to him. But I am getting off track…

Job lost almost everything in just a few days and the Bible doesn’t say how long before things turned around, just that the second half of his life was incredibly blessed. While not to the catastrophic proportions that Job endured, there has been a long streak where I live in fear of the next messenger to come and announce the latest bad news too. Walking down the darkened path, I poured out a long lament to my Father. I told him how sick I was of the recent chain of life events, how I tried to follow Him and how cruel He was to let me keep going down dead end paths when I asked him constantly for guidance. My throat strained and throbbed as I literally screamed my frustration and hurt out to Him. (I picked a very secluded part of the course for this episode!)

The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know. The same goes with questions, the more that get answered, the more new questions come up. This strange condition is even more pronounced with Father, The closer I get and the better I get to know Him, the more I realize that His breadth and width and depth, as well as His plan, is unfathomable and like the universe, seems to be continually expanding. The realization is both comforting and frustrating…

I demanded to know why life has been so tough for so long? Even more so I wanted to know when will it get better, when will things turn around? I wanted to know why this season had to occur and why so severely? I wanted to know if I was the cause or simply a player on a bigger stage? Did my actions/sins cause or prolong it? Am I doing something wrong still to continue it? Do I need to do something to make it better?

This and more poured out of me, some of it thought, some spoken, a couple screamed at the top of my lungs. Falling to my knees on the cold, hard asphalt I poured out my pitiful lament. Piper stopped and nuzzled me gently. God was silent. How could He provide such calm assurances to my anxious thoughts yet seemingly ignore my desperate life pleas for so long?

He didn’t answer directly this night either. I suspect I could have stayed on the cold, cruel asphalt until dawn’s first foursome ran me over and not gotten a direct answer. He did remind me, through Job, that He is bigger than I can ever begin to imagine, that His ways are beyond my comprehension and grasp and are for ultimate good, according to His purpose. Job lived a better life than me, but that only proves that we don’t earn His favor, it has already been earned for us by His Son. The reassurance that I hoped for or the direction that I so desperately sought did not arrive in some miraculous form that night. I did realize that my job, like Job, is to trust Him, whether barns are full or all is seemingly at the moment, lost.