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I was teaching a group of sixth grade girls on a Sunday morning this fall, and here are a few questions they asked:
“How big is God really? Could He fit in this room?”
“Why does He do the things He does?”
“What does it mean to know Him?”
“Why is this all so important?”
Teenage girls love to ask questions. Maybe it’s more that women inherently love to ask questions, but either way, it’s a part of life. We’re inquisitive by nature. I’m in the midst of pre-marital counseling, and it’s brought up the fact that my fiancé, Jonathan, doesn’t like to answer questions immediately. He wants time to sit, think, and process. I, on the other hand, want immediate answers, and those answers often provoke more questions.
I’m grateful that we serve a God who isn’t afraid of our questions. In fact, we see Jesus throughout the New Testament asking questions. He modeled for us how to think, be curious, and to give space for some thought. Jesus taught far more by asking questions than making demands.
God is both the answerer of our questions and the answer to our questions. He never tires of our wondering and pleading, and He desires that we communicate with Him about the things we want to know.
As Jesus was dying on the cross, He asked His Father, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Mark 15:34). The depth of His pain was very real, and He got very real with His own Father in asking why this was happening. As believers, we can ask God anything. Does He always answer immediately? No. Does He always have purpose in what He does? Yes.
If it feels like there’s a closed line of communication between you and God, it’s not because God isn’t answering or doesn’t care—it’s most likely because you have stopped asking Him questions and going to Him with what’s going on in your life.
God didn’t shy away from answering Jesus’ questions, and He doesn’t shy away from answering the questions of a group of sixth grade girls who are trying to understand truth. As these girls move from concrete to abstract thinking, they’ll begin to ask even more questions. For some of us as adults, we feel like we’re past the point of asking questions, but when we’re alone, they’re still swirling around in our heads.
Here are a few things I’ve heard from other adults and ministry leaders that keep us from asking questions:
“Shouldn’t we know these things already?”
“How can I lead when I’m still asking questions?”
“What will they think of me if I say that I don’t know?”
As we set our pride aside and follow the model Jesus set, we will cultivate opportunities for questions to be welcomed and not be afraid to do some asking ourselves.
“Jesus does not ask parents or congregations to be theological experts. He asks us to follow him, to remember him, to love him—and to let it show.” Kenda Creasy Dean, Almost Christian