Saturday, December 8, 2012

Questions and answers

I have a lot of questions a lot of the time.  I love to hear people's stories and I like to learn from their mistakes.  I don't really care as much what you believe as how God shows up in your life.  I don't need you to quote me a scripture about God being faithful - just tell me about the times He's been faithful to you.  I can usually take it from there.

Thankfully God has graciously surrounded this life with people who enjoy (or at least act like they do!) lively conversations, a good debate, and late night chats.  They're people I want to (and sometimes do!) crawl up next to and say, "Tell me about Jesus."  And graciously - they do.  Over and over and over again we share stories of His presence, His peace and we find encouragement by being at His feet - together.

People always say, "When I get to Heaven I'm going to ask God......."  You fill in the blank.  We want to know why someone died, why someone lived, how God could allow the worst thing possible, and how He could seemingly look away when life was unfair.  How can He love us and still let us stumble and fall and hurt so deeply?  We shake our fists to Heaven and cry, "Where were you?"  And sometimes the deafening silence from Heaven is unbearably heartbreaking.  

Such is a life of faith.  To struggle with the questions and embrace the idea that there may be no answers.  Not here.  And maybe not There either.  To wrestle with the unknown and believe anyway.

To my knowledge I've never spent 90 minutes or 20 seconds or even a millisecond in Heaven.  Once I get there, I plan on staying.  But, sometimes when I need to know God is especially close; when my questions have drowned out the voice of the Answer and I feel alone in my wonderings; when I need to know God is still here - still at work - and still for the sinner, I play this little scenario out in my head.

I imagine myself walking through Heaven's door and kneeling before the One who has mattered more than anyone, anything.  I find the courage to look into His caring eyes and I find them to be smiling.  I say nothing because - I can't.  His loving face turns gently to the side as he asks, "What is it child?"

I think as hard as I can, but my mind is blank.  I look up at Him and say, "I thought there was something I was going to ask you.  It was really, really important to me just five minutes ago.  But, now?  Now I can't remember."

And in that moment I know for sure.  The questions are important.  They matter especially to the Earth bound sinner.  But one day they'll all be swallowed up and completely lose their power by the One who lovingly calls me to remember that He is the Answer.  Yesterday.  Today.  Forever.