• Richard Parrish

Encountering God in My Questions


It had been years since I’d seen my friend. I was looking forward to a scheduled lunch where we could re-connect.


As we enjoyed a meal together, we reminisced about past events. There was laughter and moments when we shared how God led us through some difficult times in our lives.


It’s important to remember the past.


Remembering when we were desperate and seeing how — through the grace of God — we were able to get through tough times — reminds us of God’s faithfulness, which provides hope for today.


As the conversation continued, I realized that — though we both love God and care for the lives of others — there were some profound differences in our faith convictions.


It’s not the first time I’ve encountered friends who — over time — have “adjusted” their theology. I know that’s true with me, as well.


Circumstances throughout our life often challenge our beliefs, prompting more questions than answers. Over the years, I’ve recognized:


We encounter God more in our questions than our answers.


But that discovery hasn’t been easy.


I was raised in a faith community that insisted on proving their belief was correct. Some members in my church were rigid, dogmatic and, sometimes rude and off-putting. I was cautious about exploring my questions for fear of rejection. After all, who wants to be excluded or branded as a heretic?


So, what do we do -- and where do we go -- when we have questions regarding faith?


The first time Jesus revealed Himself to the disciples after his resurrection, Thomas was not present. His friends told him they had seen Jesus and that he was alive (see John 20:24-29).


Thomas was not convinced. He questioned (doubted). How could this be? It doesn’t make sense. There’s no physical or scientific evidence that can support the report of the other disciples.


It would have been understandable that the other disciples would say: “Thomas, we know that we’re right because we have seen with our own eyes. So, you’re mistaken.”


But Jesus invites Thomas to experience the reality for himself:


“Put your finger here, and see my hands, and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe” - John 20:27 (ESV).

Jesus does not scold Thomas because he questioned.


Our questions help us discover Christ’s invitation to experience Him personally.


If Jesus invites us to ask questions, shouldn’t His Church?


Not all my friends believe my experience or accept my convictions. And I don’t always share their beliefs.


Our world is full of contrasting opinions. We will always have questions — about our faith and what others believe. But remember, our questions help us encounter God.


No matter what your questions are, Jesus invites you to experience him for yourself.


I’m thankful that he listens to our questions and reveals himself to us through Holy Scripture (Old and New Testaments).


If you’ve encountered judgmental attitudes and been discouraged from asking questions concerning your faith, remember:


The Lord loves to listen to your questions and longs for you to experience Him personally.

 

Asking questions is one of the best ways you can grow closer to someone, and that includes God. If you need direction on how to ask God questions, check out the archive of monthly reflection articles, which feature questions you can bring to God to deepen your relationship with Him.

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