We sat across from one another, with not much in common except a question. I wasn’t exactly sure how he had found me, but here we were, sipping coffee, exchanging pleasantries, edging closer to the reason we had agreed to meet in the first place. I asked what I could do for him and heard him say that he was spiritually dry as toast, and looking for someone to help revive what was left of his Christian experience. The crux of the matter was that he was more disillusioned with himself than with God, but the Almighty ran a close second. Years of Christian ministry had obscured the reason for that service, leaving him in a downward spiral of guilt and dissatisfaction. When I asked the bottom line of his apparent misery he replied, “I’m not sure if any of this is real, and I don’t see how I can play the game any longer. I have more questions than I do answers.” The silence was tangible between us, his downward stare reflecting a defeated heart, but he raised eyebrows and his gaze when I finally spoke and said, “We honor God most by the questions we ask. It’s when we begin to question that we draw closest to the heart of God.”
“We worship God through our questions” (Abraham Joshua Heschel). God speaks more clearly to us through our questions than is possible when we’re convinced that we have all the answers; when we question our mind remains open. When we focus on answers our mind is made up, which is actually a curious phrase. Saying I have my mind made up sounds on par with making my bed or having poached eggs for breakfast. Faith is not that neat, simple, or bland. Questioning is not doubting because it anticipates an answer, making it great faith and even greater hope. Questions are not the enemy of faith; arrogance is.
“But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice. For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them. (Deuteronomy 4:29-31)