Skip to main content

Questions for the Holy One

 I recently read a quote that resonated greatly with my journey over the past year or so. “Doubt doesn’t alienate you from the divine, it often means you’re approaching it.” 

    My time with the Lord over the past few months have been rich and fruitful and for that I am thankful. I’ve craved curling up on the couch with my Bible, blanket, and coffee digging deep in scripture in the early hours of the morning while the rest of my house is still asleep. But if I’m going to be honest it didn’t start that way because all was right in my world lately (and honestly, the whole world for that matter). My heart and mind have been wrestling with unanswered questions during this season stemming from many different forms of brokenness in my personal life & in the world as a whole. My uncertainty isn’t doubting that I believe God is good, mighty, and loves justice. My questions have been more about who He is and how His proclamation of victory over evil, justice for the oppressed, and sovereignty over every detail of our lives could make sense. It was in this wrestling that I felt the tender waves of gentle invitation from the Lord to come and sit and know Him more. He reminded me that He isn’t upset at my questions, nor does it cause Him to pursue me any less than He did before the questions were there. He isn’t hurt by my wondering. Instead I felt the loving embrace of the Father calling me into a deeper communion with Him in the early hours of the morning. 

     I felt prompted to reread Genesis and Exodus at the start of 2021. In doing so I read again about the flood, the plagues, and God’s anger against his people when they worshipped idols instead of him, etc. At first I was thinking how intense God’s wrath was and how it didn’t help my questioning. But then it hit me. I am rereading these stories that I have known for as long as I can remember because God wanted to remind me of the characteristics of himself that set him apart from us. He is so holy, so divine, so all knowing, not bound by time, and never changing. His glory is SO great that it simply demands our unwavering worship. His Glory is so magnificent that no matter what our questions or doubts are, our innermost beings can’t help but be in awe and adore his Spirit when we face Him. And when his people failed, His warnings and punishments can be seen as more of a mercy rather than cruelty. 

After that I found myself back in the new testament in the book of James. This particular James (not the Apostle James) was one of Jesus’ brothers and was credited to writing this epistle. Earlier in Jame’s life when Jesus returned to Nazareth during his ministry he questioned Jesus and didn’t truly believe that he was the Savior (John 7:1-5) until after the resurrection (1Cor 15:7). He then went on to lead the Jerusalem church. I found it fascinating that James, a very brother of Jesus even had questions. He struggled and wrestled. In James ch. 1 verse 5 it states that if you lack wisdom, ask God as He will give it generously and ungrudgingly. Ungrudgingly - meaning no reluctance, no hesitancy, and no judgement. How beautiful to serve a God where it is OK to ask questions and admit you don’t understand His authority or his sovereignty. We were never meant to. But how sweet it is to have the gift of sitting with our Savior and being able to ask Him to show us what we don’t know. To humbly ask for the privilege to get to know Him in more intimate ways.

Written by Sarah Howell, member at Northside Church of Richmond


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The ARC of Racial Justice - a Reflection and Exhortation from Pastor Matt Lorish

Here we are again. The video footage of Ahmaud Arbery is all over social media. It is a time for lament and a time for righteous anger. I write this blog post as a continuation to the initial posts offered by Northside Church members. My aim in this post is to help my fellow white brothers and sisters think about where we go from here. At the close of Jemar Tisby’s book, The Color of Compromise , he introduces a framework that he calls the A.R.C. of racial justice. Using Jemar’s framework, I’d like to humbly offer some application points that I think are important for me and my fellow white sisters and brothers at Northside Church to move towards. I also write this as a Christian pastor. Christians of all ethnicities are Bible people. The end-game for us isn’t just racial justice. The end-game for us is conformity to Jesus and honoring Him. Racial injustice is one of the areas in which we need God’s Spirit to change us, grow us and conform us (Rom 12:2, 2 Cor 3:18). My prayer is

"Racism is sin. Let's treat it that way." by Sam Vaughn

Racism is sin . People are sinners. I am a person. I am a sinner. I am stained by the sin of racism. I commit the sin of racism. I omit the righteous deeds that undo and push back the sin of racism. I have stayed silent when it benefited me, rather than speaking when it would have benefited my brothers and sisters of color. I have defaulted to judgment rather than sorrow, when an unarmed Black person is shot to death. I remember when Michael Brown was shot and killed, watching the news coverage, the first thing I focused on was what he ‘must have done to cause it.’ I sought for a flaw in Michael Brown’s character as if that should be worthy of death. I engaged with other nationally covered events in a similar way. Embracing a narrative that made me comfortable was functionally more important to me than the God-given lives of image bearers like Eric Garner and Tamir Rice. I have been indifferent, and uncaring. Over the past year I have ignored the increase in violent hate crimes agains

His face was set for Jerusalem, so we can choose suffering too

My heart was arrested and blessed as I received my sister's prayer request this morning and saw her covered-up body (but sure-can't-cover-it-up glory). As is so often the case, she reminded me of our veiled-in-flesh Jesus. When she set out for Stanford, I wonder how excited those were who knew her. I wonder if they imagined how she might use that crown. What fame, what riches, what glory might follow. As He set out for Jerusalem, I wonder how excited those were who knew him. I wonder if they imagined how He might use that crown. What fame, what riches, what glory might follow. It was no mistake that He found Himself in Jerusalem. His face was set for it. To pay the penalty for our sins, to die while rescuing. He knew all along why he was going and what it would cost him. But we were worth it to Him. It was no mistake that she found herself with Covid patients today. Her face was set for it. Because He did what He did for her, she can risk while rescuing. S