While matriculating in school, I mastered the art of avoiding the hard questions. I would sit in a place that would strategically keep me from being noticed. For example, sitting next to the person who always had an answer resulted in the teacher or professor being willing to ignore the person, and thereby me. Or refusing to make eye contact with the instructor so as not to draw attention to self. I’m not exactly sure as to why. Sometimes I clearly knew the correct answer and yet I didn’t want to respond. I wonder how many times we reenact this narrative with God.
The hard questions usher in the hard thinking. And the thinking can be overwhelming. I’ve heard people say “The enemy is trying to block my blessings!” Yes, indeed he is but not all things are of the enemy. Sometimes the difficulties emerge as a means for us to confront a thing – i.e. a hard question. Are we attempting to move past God? Are we failing to see obstacles as blessings in disguise? Are we more concerned and pressed with willing our will or waiting and accepting God’s divine will?
These hard questions can make us desire to duck and hide. Recently, a colleague, Dr. Libby Webb said during a workshop, “Our minds do not like ambiguity. However, we should not try to stop our thoughts, just change our relationship to them.” When we begin to fully engage and ponder the hard questions, we can receive the wisdom God provides for what concerns us. We can release the negative and process with possibilities rather than perception.
Might we consider that hard questions infuse our faith? They require us to be vulnerable, a state by which many would rather avoid, just like me sitting in the classroom. Often I’d not engaged in studying, or reading or practicing the material in order to prepare myself for the hard questions. As we study the Word of God, we become more knowledgeable with those before us who responded to hard questions, exercised their faith and were blessed by God. We must consider the Word of God relevant. Its a historical piece with contemporary application. In it comprises the wisdom for the hard questions coupled with peace for pondering.
Hard questions do not automatically equate with hardness. However, if it does, God has promised never to leave nor forsake us! He has promised to bring us to an expected end. We cannot be afraid to listen to the small, still voice that resides within. We may not always hear what we hope, but we will always hear what is best. After all, God asked, “Is there anything too hard for me?’ (Jeremiah 32:17) If God wasn’t fearful to ask that question of himself, certainly we shouldn’t be afraid consult him for what we stand in need of.
Check out the Winans ministering, “The Question Is”: