So I did what Oswald Chambers said: “Watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there, keep your mouth shut… listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light…” And he was right.
When hard questions jump up out of the blue, or off the black and white—in life or your Bible reading—what should you do? Shove them under the carpet? Pretend they don’t exist? Give them a platitude answer to try to shut them up? Or write them down, ask God, and watch and wait till answers come?
I have learned to choose the last. At times I’ve kept a special notebook of what I call UAQ‘s. Un-Answered Questions. Atop a page I write the question. Then I skip a few pages before recording the next “UAQ,” leaving room for notes from scripture, life experiences, and other sources that shed light on it.
The visible questions help keep me alert for any relevant information God might provide.
I do all that because it’s from the dark place of nagging questions that my deepest spiritual learnings emerge, where my faith and understanding really grow.
“Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness.” -Psa 112:4
Those answers don’t usually emerge fast. Some take weeks, or months. Some take years! But once in a while, I “happen” onto something that opens up a whole new understanding rather quickly.
Of late some unanswered questions have stuck hard enough in my mind that I’ve needed no reminder at the top of a page—especially since troubling scriptures (in Job) echo troubling life experiences and observations.
I’m elated to say that just a couple of days of being quiet, like Oswald Chambers says above, considering carefully what God has brought to my attention in His word and elsewhere, and voila! Light is already gleaming!
Not that I’ve got all of Job sorted out! There’s much in scripture beyond my feeble mind. But what I’m gaining is so helpful I hope to pass at least some of it on in future posts.
Meanwhile, I need more time drawn aside from blogging. (I’m still doing what Oswald Chambers said.) In this lull, you might like to visit Denise Hughes’s mini-series on Job here, or join in on the chronological Bible read-through she and a group of others are doing (details here).
The main lesson I’ve learned about hard questions is this: Don’t be afraid to ask them—because… 1) That’s only being honest to God. 2) How can we expect answers if we don’t ask for them? 3) In the process of waiting and watching, we gain more than answers: We grow in the strength of looking to God, experiencing more fully His words, and His ways, and eventually, His presence.
6 thoughts on “And Then There is Light: Answers to Hard Questions”
Great post. Searching for the answers to the questions our Father either causes or allows brings us closer to His heart. I’m with you. I’m not one of those people that can whistle and look the other way when confronted with questions and the drawing nigh in search of the truth from our Father gains us the wisdom He promised.
Yes, I think He does prompt a lot of those questions, Floyd, just because of what you say: that in the struggle to gain some light on those questions, looking to Him and his word for it, we are brought closer to His heart. That’s one of the beautiful things about Job’s story, too, isn’t it?
I enjoyed this post; and I like this, “while in the darkness, keep your mouth shut and listen – -” the message may be for someone else but it also might be for you as well. So many “Why” questions will not be answered on this side of heaven because the secret things belong to the Lord.
Ah, Hazel, you are quoting one of my husband’s favorite Bible verses, Deuteronomy 29:29! Yes, there are so many questions we’ll never get answered this side of heaven! How good just to know the Lord Who owns all the answers and even reveals to our poor small minds and hearts what answers we really need to know, by His Spirit, through His word!
Hi Sylvia! Well, as you know, I live with ‘blindness’ so I surely understand that there are times when you just don’t know all the answers. Your patience is what I really like. Taking the time to pray, ASK!, journal…and you were rewarded.
I’d rather have a quick answer, just slip in the coin, and vend the answer, but that’s not how God works. We’ll get to the light when God is ready to tell us and we’re ready to hear it. It’s a pretty good arrangement!
I’m so happy for you that you got the supportive answers you needed. You are a faithful child of his!
I don’t have all my questions answered entirely, but important light rays shining on them. I’d rather have the quick answer, too, but, as you said so well, “We’ll get to the light when God is ready to tell us and we’re ready to hear it.” Blessings!
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