"The Why Child."
That could have been my nickname growing up.
(Well, at least one I would have liked. We won't discuss "Spoke" or "Railroad Mouth")
I was an intensely curious child. I wanted to know the "why" about everything. I know most kids are that way. But evidently I was more persistent in my questions. And they were deep questions.
My pondering started early!
For instance, maybe most kids would ask something like, "Why is the sky blue?"
My question might be more like, "Why can't I touch the sky if I can see it?"
And, I would add follow-up questions:
"How far away is the moon?" ("How" questions are close cousins of "why" questions, by the way).
"Why can't I look at the sun?"
"Why isn't it light all the time?"
"Where does the wind come from?" ("Where" questions are also on the family tree, by the way).
God bless her, my mom would try to answer my incessant questioning. But, more often than not, I heard this:
"Ask your father when he comes home!"
So, curious and inquisitive - yes I was.
Not entirely bad qualities.
But, as I grew older, my questions started to overflow into my faith.
"Why" questions became problematic sometimes as I tangled with the bigger issues:
"Why does God allow bad things to happen?"
"Why doesn't everybody go to heaven?"
"Why does God feel hidden and silent sometimes?"
I'm not entirely sure that my "why" questions reflected doubt. I may have walked some miles off the narrow way in my life, but I never turned my back on my faith.
But I wrestled. I struggled.
I always identified with Job. I understood his questioning. His heart-wrenching "why," hurled toward the heavens, could have come from my lips.
And you want to know the truth?
I always kinda thought that God's response was harsh and insensitive. Maybe even (dare I say it?)...sarcastic? arrogant?
Job had suffered terribly. He was still suffering...terribly. I think his questions were legitimate, understandable - they were human.
And God didn't (wouldn't) answer even one "why" question???
To me, that seemed almost (dare I say it?)...cruel.
So, "why" has been my lifelong companion.
But today, something in one of my devotions got me thinking, questioning...
(I know - you caught the irony, right?!)
This devotional book has a question to ponder at the end of the reading for the day (wonder why I picked it?!).
Here was the question for today:
"What are some of the conversations you want to have with Jesus in eternity?"
Well, let me tell you, back in the day I would have arrived at those pearly gates with a laundry list of questions. I would have pushed for a *consultation* with the Lord.
"Um, excuse me, Peter. I'm happy to be here, but I'd like to schedule an appointment with Jesus. I have questions!!"
But when I read that question in my devotions today, it stopped me.
Because I realized that I am not so burdened by my questions anymore.
They're still there, yes. But they are far less important than they used to be. And my quest for answers is far less urgent and compelling.
What happened to them, I wondered today...
Lo and behold, my conclusion was this:
MY FAITH HAS GROWN!
I still have questions, sure, but now I can release them easier. They don't have a stranglehold on me. They don't consume me like they used to.
Why? (LOL again)
Because they aren't as important to me as my relationship to
I have come to know Jesus in a far more personal way.
He is my God - but He is also my Friend.
You know, I think my arrival at the pearly gates is going to be different now. My hands will be empty - no laundry list of questions. No demands, no agenda.
Only these words:
"Peter, where's Jesus?"
I don't really want answers. I just want to see His face.
Ah...now I realize something about Job that has always puzzled me.
His response to God's response.
Job wasn't hurt or disappointed or frustrated or angry. He didn't spit out a snappy retort.
"Yeah, great, God. I know what You've done. But I want to know why?"
That was never uttered.
No, instead, Job was humbled in his heart.
For him, God had grown bigger and more personal at the same time.
Job was completely satisfied to give up intellectual knowledge for intimate relationship.
He traded mind contentment (answered questions) for heart communion (fulfilled soul).
And, in many ways, I have too.
I realized that today...and it made me happy.
My "why" child has matured into a "Who" person.
I get it now, Job.
I get it now, Lord.
I get it.
Who kept the sea inside its boundaries as it burst from the womb...
For I locked it behind barred gates,
limiting its shores.
I said, "This far and not farther you will come.
Here your proud waves must stop!"
Job responds to God:
"You asked, 'Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?' It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me...
I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes." (Job 42:3, 5)
Are you still asking the questions, or are you seeking The Answer?
Linked today with:
Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY
Michelle at HEAR IT ON SUNDAY, USE IT ON MONDAY
Tracy at WINSOME WEDNESDAY
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"