Monday, April 28, 2014

Got questions?

Retirement. Most people dream of the day they can stop working and enjoy their lives by doing whatever they choose, whenever they choose; but retirement brings huge changes to the lives of people who have found security in their daily routines. I speak from experience. I never dreamed that I would retire so early in life but, through unexpected circumstances, that's exactly what happened to me. The first few weeks were exciting! I was free at last! Then the months began to follow and the excitement wore off as all my family and friends continued to work. I found myself often alone and lonely during the day...and that's when the questions began to creep in. Did I do the right thing in leaving my job? Could we make it on one income? Should I volunteer somewhere? Why do I feel so useless? What am I supposed to be doing with my life right now??? Silly questions to some but they were important to me.

Those questions also brought about doubt. Satan began to tantalize me with the fear of the "what ifs." What if your husband gets injured on the job and can no longer work? What if he dies suddenly? What if you're left all alone with your family so far away from you? What will you do then? How will you survive? What if the bills mount and you're unable to pay them?

People all over the world have questions. What about those mothers whose babies are born prematurely? Through tear filled eyes, they watch their tiny infants hooked up to machines that breathe life into them. They sit beside their isolettes day in and day out waiting for the word that they can take their babies home. They wonder day to day if their child is going to survive or if the next breath will be their last. Their souls cry out in deep agony, why??? What about the young woman who is suddenly thrust into widowhood when her brave soldier is killed in action? I'm sure she has many questions for God. What about the single parent who struggles to make ends feed a family of four and wonders where their next meal is coming from when there's no more money left in the bank account? What about the Olympic athlete who suffers a tragic injury that totally shatters his career in the blink of an eye? So many questions but God in His great mercy doesn't condemn us for the asking. 

Does God get angry when we ask Him questions? No! Look at Job...Job asked some pretty tough questions of God. He even asked God why He didn't let him die at birth! Can you imagine asking God something so bold and blatant? I would be scared to death that He'd send a huge bolt of lightening to strike me down! But God didn't do that with Job. He allowed him to ask as many questions as he wanted to ask.  God remained silent and let Job fire away. Did God answer each of Job's questions? Not really. But what He did do is tell Job that He was God and Job was not!

If God had answered each of Job's questions, do you think Job would have been able to wrap his head around the answers? Sometimes it's better for us not to know God's plan for us. That's how He teaches us to trust Him and have faith in Him. We're always going to have questions because we're human and I think God understands that, afterall...He created us!

In the book of Romans, Paul gives us an answer that we can hold on to when he says "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord and who has understood His thoughts, or who has [ever] been His counselor? 35 Or who has first given God anything that he might be paid back or that he could claim a recompense? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] To Him be glory forever!"

In other words, God is God and we are not. With that being said, we will continue to have questions. He knows we will want to know the answers. Sometimes He will choose to give us the answers but most times He will not. We must learn to rest in the fact that He is holy and just. He knows what is best for us. He knows what we need and when we need it. He is in control. 

Will I still have questions for God? You'd better believe it! Will I be afraid to ask some of those questions? Probably...but, I know God won't condemn me for asking. He is loving and patient and understanding...just the way any Father should be. I am thankful that He expects me to be an inquisitive child even though I'm rapidly approaching 60. God is the same as He was yesterday, the same as He will be today, and the same as He will be tomorrow. If He didn't throw lightening bolts at Job, then He won't throw them at me either! So go ahead and ask the hard questions, it's okay! God is on your side. He understands and He already knows what you're going to ask anyway. After all, He IS God.  

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