I saw the movie “Risen” last night. Toward the end, the Roman tribune gets the opportunity to sit down and speak face-to-face with the risen Jesus. As the disciples sleep, Clavius approaches Jesus – and becomes speechless. Full of love, Jesus looks at him and says “ask your questions”.
Because Jesus knew his heart. Because Jesus knew he was on the verge of eternal truth. Because Jesus is available to him.
And there is no question too big. No question too bold. No question too brazen.
Because Jesus understands us (Hebrews 4:15-16).
Because Jesus loves us (Ephesians 3:17-19).
Because Jesus knows us (Psalm 139:1-5, 13-16).
But here’s the interesting part. Jesus told Clavius to ask. He didn’t promise to answer him with the answers he wanted. He didn’t promise to erase all his questions. He didn’t promise to assuage all his doubts.
And He says the same thing to us. “Come to Me and ask. Bring Me all your questions. Bring Me all your fears. Bring Me all your doubts. Bring Me everything.” Matthew 7:7-8 says we are to ask, to seek, and to knock. To come to Him with all our questions, all our doubts, all our fears, all our hesitations. To ask Him. To seek Him. To knock at heaven’s throne. And to continue to do so.
Because when we give Him our questions, He will assure us He is Lord over all (Philippians 2:9-11). He will assure us He understands where we are and will help us through our questions (Hebrews 4:15-16). He will assure us that, no matter what, His love for us is limitless (Ephesians 3:17-19). He will assure us that He walks with us through our questions (Psalm 23:4). He will assure us that He greatly cares for us and can comfort us (Matthew 11:28-30). He will assure us that He greatly cares for us and will provide for us (Matthew 6:25-34). He will assure that He understands what it is to feel alone, isolated, and bruised (Isaiah 53:3). He will assure us that He knows the path we are on and knows the good place of blessing that He wants to bring us to (Joshua 1:3-6). He will assure us that His plan is always good and we should never lose hope (Jeremiah 29:11). He will assure that His strength will enable us to continue on when we feel hopeless and lost (Isaiah 40:29-31).
So ask your questions. The door is open for you to ask – “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
But remember it is up to God to provide His answer. Not on your timetable. On His. That may mean waiting, praying, seeking, trusting, and hoping for a (long) period of time and during hard times. It may mean feeling alone, although He promises that “I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).
And it means receiving His answer. For He will always answer (Matthew 7:8). But it may not look, smell, sound, taste, or feel anything like you expected.
- Naaman expected a touch from God to cure his leprosy. When he approaches the prophet Elisha, he is told to “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean” (2 Kings 5:10). He becomes furious and stomps off because God didn’t have Elisha “call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy” (2 Kings 5:11). But it was in his obedience to doing something outrageous that he was healed.
- The religious leaders were outraged when Jesus told the paralytic man “Son, your sins are forgiven you” (Mark 2:5) to heal him when his friends lowered him through the roof.
- The townsfolk were amazed and scared when Jesus commanded the demons out of a possessed man and into a herd of pigs (Mark 5:1-17).
- Jesus was ridiculed when he proclaims the centurion’s daughter to be sleeping before raising her from the dead (Mark 5:35-42).
- Jesus healed the blind man in John 9:6-7 by covering his eyes with mud and telling him to wash it off.
- When Jesus hears that his good friend Lazarus is dying, “He stayed two more days in the place where He was” (John 11:6) instead of running to his side to heal him. Why? Because “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe” (John 11:15) and “for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4).
- When Adam and Eve choose to eat the fruit, God forgives them. But He also allows them to feel the pain of the consequences of their choices. They are not allowed to stay in the paradise of Eden but are kicked out to experience life on their terms (Genesis 3:22-24).
So bring your questions to a loving Savior and a forgiving Father. And then be open to whatever answer He will give. Don’t be consumed by getting an answer or understanding in full. Don’t be distracted by not getting an immediate answer. Don’t be dissuaded by getting an answer that isn’t what you expected. Know that God loves you, no matter how many questions you have. And He’s waiting for you to ask Him, so He can hold you and walk with you through your questions to His answer.
Marie Fremin, 2/25/16