Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dealing with Questions

I love to ask questions. "Why does electricity work that way?" "Why do you add that chord there when you play that song?" "What does that do?" "Who invented that?" Questions are good. Questions are how you learn. 

Questions can also be uncomfortable. Questions can force you to go beyond what you already know and seek for answers. Questions can make you look at things you just accepted by habit before. Questions can be hard. There are some questions that do not have easy answers. 

The world is filled with information; I never expected to stop learning and growing. There are many fields of study of particular interest to me, not to mention the rest of them! But at some point I did expect to have fewer philosophical questions. Instead I've found the opposite to be true. 

photo courtesy of stuart miles/freedigitalphotos.net

I can look back over my life, especially the last five or so years, and see where I'm learning and growing. But I'm pretty sure that I have more questions now than ever where I can't just Google the answers. Questions like, "what does it mean to be a woman?" "How does that look lived in my marriage, my mothering, my attitude toward myself?" "What will truly matter in eternity?" "How should I prioritize the few moments of free time that I have?" "How do I be the best me and yet conform to the standard?" "Do I even have to conform to the standard?" (I never see where God calls the Christian to conformation, only transformation. God made us all unique people. Yet, of course, the Bible is our guideline so there should be similarities as we all follow the same Book. See what I mean?)

You may have totally different questions. There are stages in life and circumstances that are hard to understand. The questions can change- and do change- from season to season. 

So what can we do? I can't quit everything until I have answers. I can't put all of my work on hold while I search for answers. 

Here's some practical thoughts for dealing with questions of life. 

1. Continue with your work. Do the things that you know God has handed to you to the best of your ability. God isn't waiting until we are perfectly mature and knowledgeable to use us. If He were, He would have no one to use. Don't freak out and throw all things to the wind. Continue. 

2. Surrender your heart to God. It's easy to think that we know what the answer is going to be and instead of searching for what God says about it we are searching for something to validate how we feel. Be looking for Jesus above all. 

3. Immerse yourself in the Bible. The Bible has all the answers. That's where you are going to find what God thinks and says about all of life. Allow God to transform your life through your time in the Bible. 

4. Pray. Ask God for help in understanding. Commit yourself to serving Him regardless of when answers come or what they look like. Don't obsess about your questions. Have a time you take them to God and move on with your day. 

5. Learn. Remember, questions are an opportunity to grow and learn. Ask questions of Godly people. Read books, blogs, articles on the subject. Be sure to always ask, "Is this what the Bible really says?" Often we say things that are cultural standards or habit when it's not exactly what the Bible says. As you are learning let the Bible remain your authority. 

Can I guarantee you'll find answers? No, I can't. But I do know that the Bible says that "Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the Lord understand all things." (Proverbs 28:5)

There will always be questions. Questions can make you uncomfortable but remain committed to following the truth while you search out answers. We have the Answer as our Father. And for the things that we can't know here on earth we can have faith that God is sovereign and working for His glory and our good. 

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