Sunday, December 02, 2007

Asking Questions

Elisabeth Elliot, in her book Secure in the Everlasting Arms writes:

"One often hears people say, "the first question I'm going to ask God when I get to heaven is..." During His final discourse with the disciples before He went to the cross they were asking Him many questions. Jesus said to them, "Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything" (John 16:22-23). The King James Version says, "You will ask me no question." May not the sight of Jesus Himself in His glory make all our questions seem redundant, if not simply foolish?"

That's a great point. I, too, have imagined myself arriving in heaven someday with a long list of questions for God... Questions, that if I'm honest with myself, call into question His judgement or sovereignty in certain situations. "Why did You allow that?" "What was I supposed to do about that?" "What possible good was this situation?" Even Biblical questions. I have a list of scriptures that I just. don't. understand. and I picture myself plopping a Bible in front of Him and asking Him "WHAT does this MEAN???" But, the reality is, when I finally see Jesus, the Word Himself, I won't have those questions because at that moment I will be beholding the very fulfillment of Scripture.

She continues:
"There are not many new questions in our very human hearts. When I examine my own heart and find that I am tempted to say to the Lord, "Yes, but--" or "What about--" or "How can I possibly--?" I find that He has questions for me:

Are you willing to understand?

To rearrange your life?

To be healed?

To lose your life for My sake?

Do you want solutions or holiness?

Answers or orders?

The light of Christ or your own logic?"

What got me today was this quote from Evelyn Underhill..."It is only disguised pride that makes us fret over what we can't understand." Ouch. Disguised pride. I must continually check for pride- disguised or not- in my life. And even in my questions.

A final quote from Ms. Elliot: "God will see to it that we understand as much truth as we are willing to obey."

On this foggy Sunday morning reading these words has brought one of my favorite hymns to mind:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

Sure, I will continue to have questions. But if I hold them up to the "light of His glory and grace" they will be put in their proper perspective, and quite likely disappear altogether. And in that moment I will have just the tiniest glimpse of heaven.


The Lloyd Family said...

What great reminders. Thanks for these words to help make a nice (and early) start to my week.

By the way ..... I saw you last night at dinner ..... felt too much like an internet stalker to come over to say hi.

Have a great week !!!


Tricia said...

What a beautiful post.

I know when I start to struggle, when I don't understand why the Lord is allowing something in my life, I can either fret and worry and continue to struggle to understand, or I can give over my right to understand to Him who knows all.

There is a peace in deciding to leave it in the Lord's hands.

I know when I get to Heaven I will have no more questions. That is part of the wonder of Heaven to me. Complete Understanding.

I have to just trust Him until that day.

Happy Sunday!

Linda said...

This is post is just filled with wisdom Cyndi. Pride - it is something I must confess over and over again. It comes in such subtle forms. It seems to be at the root of everything in one way or another.
I remember a Pastor saying once that we are responsible for all the things we are taught. It really caused me to step back and think of all the teaching I have had in my lifetime and how far short I fall of living it all out. I even stopped listening to so much Christian radio and reading so many books - trying instead to live out the one truth at a time the Lord was teaching me. I think that sounds a bit silly, but it's the way I find best for me.
I love that song "I Can Only Imagine". I have come to believe that when I get my first glimpse of Jesus I will just fall prostrate with my face in the ground and weep.
I love all those wonderful quotes. Thank you for sharing them.