I give myself permission to question God. That is real talk for this right-now moment. And maybe you should too.
I’ve been reading through some of the Psalms, and the honesty I find there is eye opening. In Psalm 44, the writer asks God why he’s allowed evil to befall the righteous. They’d been following God, done what was right. They kept the commands, and yet their enemies triumphed. The psalmist notes how distraught the people were. (I think I would have been crestfallen too). The writer doesn’t hold back from questioning God, and neither should we.
Perhaps because we have a tendency to suppress or hide our real emotions, this questioning of God seems counterintuitive, heretical even. Will I be struck by lightning for asking God accusatory questions? Does questioning God mean I’ve lost my faith? But… what kind of close, intimate relationship can you have with God if you cannot tell Him of the ache in your heart? What kind of vibrant and personal relationship can you have if you do not tell Him what you really think and feel?
Beloved our questioning God doesn’t mean our faith has faltered. It doesn’t mean we’ve lost our way. And it doesn’t mean we have broken sweet charity or fellowship with God. If anything, it means we are seeking wholeness, connection, and total acceptance. When I question God, I give myself permission to be imperfect. When I question God, I give myself permission to be true and authentic. When I question God, I give myself permission to be fully seen and fully heard. When I’m honest, I am most myself.
You see, I’ve read Psalm 44 many times. But today, it speaks to me an unsettling truth. It speaks of invitation. It is an invitation to unfettered faith, soulful conversation that breeds life, and divine relationship. When I question God I give myself permission to go to my Source.
Sure, I could go to my fellow man, but that would not heal the brokenness, pain, or sorrow. There is something sacred to laying one’s soul bear before God and to being completely naked and vulnerable – flaws, doubts, misbeliefs and all. He can handle it. That’s real talk for this right-now moment.
Today, I give myself permission to ask God, hard, upending questions. I want to question where He was when life when took hard lefts and dangerous rights. I want to question why He didn’t do anything. I want to question why He is not paying attention, or why he let my enemies triumph. I want to question his faithfulness, his promise, and his goodness while trudging through dry and bitter wilderness.
Maybe I won’t like the answers I’ll get. I expect to hear. I expect him to speak. He can speak for himself. In fact, his invitation has always been “come let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). He’s got reasons. I want to hear them; and if he should tell me what my soul may not bear, still I will trust him. Maybe the truth to which he will respond is the deep-seated agony in my own soul. It doesn’t matter because I want His truth – all of it.
What is important to me is the leaning in, the pressing in to know God. What is important to me is continually seeking God even when answers do not come. So I will wait in silence. I will wait in the holy hush. I will allow my heart to spill its wretched contents at the altar. I will empty my soul of rancorous angst and unwholesome anxiety.
Surely this invisible God I pursue will hear, will answer, and will come to my rescue. That’s real talk for this right now moment. This is what I will believe – that God doesn’t mind my questions. So today, I give myself permission to question God.
NKJV Study Bible. Radmacher, gen ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997.
It’s Real Talk Tuesday time. Our theme this week: I Give Myself Permission.
We’d love for you to join us. Poem, Song, Essay, Story, Blog Post, or Photo Essay – share the words and images that speak of truth. Your voice will be heard here. We’re ready to hear your stories. We honor each voice here.
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