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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


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