it’s not okay to just say that we’re okay

i was going to start this post off with a quote from a book. it’s a popular book. i’d even say it’s a trendy book in the 20-something christian circle. the only problem is that i have friends who have taken journalism classes or have worked at real news places like tv stations or newspapers that have told me that you don’t start something off with a quote. i don’t know if they’re right or not but i figured i’d listen to them and write this pointless paragraph first just so i can say i’m playing by the rules.

i wonder if that’s what we’ll do with god when we are through with all this, if he’ll show us around heaven…all the fields sweeping down to a couple of chairs under a tree, in a field outside the city.

and we’ll sit and tell him our stories,

and he’ll smile and tell us what they mean.

(sorry for going all rob bell there and breaking up a sentence into multiple lines but it felt right.)

i’m sitting here in bed and i’m picturing that scene. i’ve changed it up a little and put it on a beach with me and god sipping on cherry coke instead of a chair under a tree. there are so many stories that i’d love to tell him and then ask him to let me know what they meant or why they happened.

like that one time where that one kid said something to me. what did he mean by that?

or i’d ask him why my grandpa had to have a stroke right before the time in my life where i’d have so many questions for him.

or maybe i’d tell him about how something kept bugging me and i couldn’t figure it out and then ask him what it meant.

don’t get me wrong, i know that god is perfect and he is awesome and that he knows everything that happens everywhere. i also know that even if i could walk up to god right now and ask him to tell me those answers that there’d be no way i could comprehend some of them.

but i still want to know.

one of the biggest arguments i’ve ever been in happened a few years ago with a former friend. i was talking about how i didn’t understand some of the things going on in my life and that i was questioning god and begging him to just give me a glimpse of why the heck these things were happening. the friend argued that i should just have more faith and trust god more and that i shouldn’t be questioning him. they said “god is the one person i don’t care what he does with my life because i know it’s good for me in the end. i don’t need to ask him anything.”

we went back and forth for probably an hour.

we didn’t talk for a day or two after that.

and after it was all over, i was more confused than when the argument started.

i had stopped questioning god and started questioning myself. was my faith lacking? should i be questioning god? will he get mad at me if i disagree with him or don’t like something that happened? i had questions and i was so confused that i didn’t even know who to ask those questions.

so i e-mailed my grandpa.

the whole thing just confuses me. am i wrong for questioning god? i don’t think that i am. you can’t expect answers from god unless you ask the question, right?

i really don’t know exactly what i’m asking you. i’m so confused by the whole situation that it’s not even funny.

he never responded to that e-mail.

for the longest time i even wondered if he had received it or read it or anything. i didn’t want to bring it up because it was a really awkward e-mail and bringing it up just would’ve been weird. then, sometime last fall, i was home for some reason and was with him talking about some things and talking about where i was going in life and all of that good stuff.

him: you know, you sent me an e-mail about a year or so ago.

me: yes sir, i did.

him: and i never answered it.

me: i noticed.

him: that was one of those things that i thought you needed to figure out on your own. i read it. and i prayed for you. but i knew the answers that you needed could only come if you found them yourself.

after that we talked about the e-mail and the situation and the answers that i found while working through all of it. we talked about how far i’d come as a christian and as a person since that argument. then we just talked – a grandpa talking to his grandson.

i have a lot of questions right now. i’m 23 and about to jump into something completely new that i have no clue what to expect. i’m experiencing things on a daily basis that i’ve never experienced before. the spiritual warfare and spiritual attacks that i always heard about but never experienced are happening routinely now. they’re happening in ways that i never expected either.

and i have questions about them all.

i wish that i could sit next to god and tell him everything that’s going on and have him tell me why they’re happening. i actually wouldn’t mind him giving me a detailed step-by-step chart of what i need to do to understand everything and to keep the crap from coming back.

unfortunately i don’t think he’s going to give me that chart right now.

but i don’t think he minds the questions.

quite frankly, i think he loves the questions. just like my grandpa liked that i trusted him and believed in him enough to turn to him in a really weird time in my life, i think that god loves that we trust him to give us answers. at the same time, i think that god knows that there are certain things that we can only learn by dealing with them ourselves.

he hears us.

he listens to our prayers.

and he knows that the answers we need can only come through whatever it is we’re going through.

i can’t wait until that day when i’m sipping cherry coke with the god who made me. i think it’ll be awesome and it wouldn’t surprise me if he finally answered those questions then.

for now though, i’ll take joy in the fact that he’s up there listening to me and that he loves me and that he’s always there when i simply need to talk.

and when the day comes that i finally figure out why all of this stuff happens i’ll thank him for letting me know.

i’m still looking forward to that cherry coke though.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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3 thoughts on “it’s not okay to just say that we’re okay

  1. Dude, the entire book of Habakkuk is written by a guy who is asking God questions. Whenever I start wondering about things, and then end up wondering if I should be wondering, I read Habakkuk, because he’s a person with questions that he wants answered. He asks God, then he waits for the answers, and God delivers.

    I think our problem is that too often, we don’t want to wait for the answers. I know I sure don’t, but I think that’s the key. Once we stop expecting answers from God, THAT is when we have problems.

  2. i love habakkuk. one of my favorite passages in the entire bible comes from the end of chapter three.

    i know there’s no problem with asking god questions but i’m always reminded of that argument whenever i do.

    last night i spent quite a bit of time praying and thanking god for simply being there to listen even if i don’t always get answers as quick as i’d like. it felt good to do that.

  3. Ditto to what warren said. You guys got me reading Habakkuk tonight. I think God enjoys teaching lessons in patience. I may not be ready for all the answers to the questions i have. so i have to be patient and wait for God to enlighten me to the answers on his watch. not mine.

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