“From the Hart” Devotional for Jan. 11, 2024
“Questions for God”
by Julie Hart, Director of Connectional Ministries
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Pastor David is preaching a series called “How Will You Answer?” The questions of Jesus. It has me thinking about questions. I was told recently that I ask a lot of questions. “Doesn’t everyone?”, I asked!
Having done youth ministry for 13 years, I often had parents come to me with concerns that their child was questioning their faith. My answer was usually something along the lines of “Good! That’s great news!! That is how they will make it their own!” That is not always the response that parents wanted to hear, but it was true. After all, what do we do after we ask a question? We listen for the answer. So as long as we are asking questions to or about God, we are actively participating in our faith. It’s when they stop asking questions that we should be concerned.
Recently, I came across a website that had children’s letters to God written by 3rd graders. 3rd graders have great questions, don’t they?
Here are just a few of the questions that they had for God:
“Dear God, did you mean for a giraffe to look like that or was it an accident?”
“How did you know you were God?”
“Dear God, what does it mean you are a jealous God? I thought you had everything.”
“Dear God. My grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy. How far back do you go?”
“Is Reverend Coe a friend of yours, or do you just know him through business?”
“Dear God, when you made the first man did he work as good as we do now?”
I love the curiosity that children have about the world. They want to learn and understand everything! And they aren’t afraid to ask questions. Not even to God.
I was 26 years old when I was considering becoming a Methodist. I was still new in my faith and understanding of God. Not wanting to commit myself to something I did not understand, I asked the pastor what exactly the Methodist Church was all about and what Methodists believed. I thought I was asking a pretty complicated question that would take him a long time to explain to me. But he answered my question with just one word — Grace. He went on to explain how God’s grace was already at work in my life. He talked about prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace. He told me enough to make me want to be a part of it.
Of course, that question led to many more questions as I sought to understand the path that God had put me on, my purpose, and the will of God. That was a few decades ago, and I still have questions. As I continue to learn what this is all about, I am so grateful that I dared to ask that one question that changed my life. Forever. Questions help us to grow in our understanding of ourselves, our world, and our God. So, I say we should never be afraid to ask a question. And, with that, I have just a few questions for you:
• Have you ever been afraid or too embarrassed to ask a question?
• What is it that keeps you from asking the questions that you most want to know?
• If you could ask God just one question right now, what would it be?
• How would the answer to that question change your life?
• Where do you go, or who do you go to, to get answers to your important questions?
We come to you full of questions. Questions about your people, your world, and your love. We are in awe of all that you have created and curious about the unique ways that you have created us to be. We want to know how to live, how to love, and how to get the most out of this life that you have blessed us with. Mostly, we want to know you more fully. Help us to know the questions to ask and to be comfortable sitting in the unknown as you reveal the answers to our questions in your most perfect timing.