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Asking Questions We Don’t Have Answers for

20080404-expertGod is faithful. That’s true whether He does what I want Him to or not. Sometimes you want to know for sure, “God will do this or not do that” before you make a request. In doing so, you can end up limiting God’s work in your life–not because you are more powerful than God but because you fail to ask.

It’s easy to seek rules; it’s harder to seek God.

One thing that is a hallmark of childhood is questions. My kids don’t ruminate too long before whatever their currently pondering leaps from their mouths. It can be related to anything from caterpillars and how they move to wanting a new video game.

Children aren’t afraid to ask because they feel safe. Even if the answer is “no” or “not right now,” healthy kids understand that their parents love and care for them.

Somehow as you grow up, you feel the need to play it safe. You don’t want to look stupid by asking a question you don’t already know the answer to. This is why many of us fall simply to religious ritual and theologically shallow answers–we’re afraid it might not work for us.

Miracles are great, but what if I ask and don’t get it? What if I pray and the terrible circumstance doesn’t change or gets worse? It’s safer to stick with the rules you’ve “discerned” and not get your hopes up.

Pretty much the opposite of what a kid would do (what we’re supposed to be like to enter the Kingdom). A kid isn’t concerned with what may or may not happen if he asks. His “what if” is brimming with possibility. What if I get what I ask for?

Margaret Feinberg continues detailing her journey with cancer and its treatment and that she and her husband were actively praying and asking others to pray for zero. Zero cancer. Zero pain. Zero suffering. Zero side effects.

The list goes on, but you may be able to guess some things they got and some things they didn’t. You rejoice in what He did answer and find joy in His faithfulness.

Whether you get what you’ve asked for or not, God is still worth seeking. You may think that it’s not seeking when you have desperate needs that you need met, but Jesus didn’t seem to mind it in His own ministry.

Asking for Him to change your situation or miraculously intervene is not a substandard form of seeking Him. He wants you to know all of Him.

Joy means holding onto hope regardless of the outcome–declaring we will give up everything and entrust ourselves more fully and wholly to the One who holds all things together. –Margaret Feinberg, Fight Back with Joy (pg.149-150)

You may need to put yourself out there, to stop acting like a scared adult and embrace that childlike faith. There is nothing too big to ask of our infinite God, and He’s a good Father.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you ask for miracles? Why or why not? What do you do when the outcome is not what you expected?


fbwj-buttonWelcome to week 11 of our discussion of Fight Back with Joy (disclosure) by Margaret Feinberg. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts and the widget to add your post. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!

6 Comments

  1. I love the idea of asking God as a child (because we are his children after all). It does take the fear of not getting what we want away. I’ve found at times that when I ask God for something, his answer turns out to be something much grander than I ever hoped for.
    Blessings, Jason!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..God Has Made It AllMy Profile

    • You are so right. We can’t imagine how God will turn things or complete us, answering the desires of our hearts in amazing ways. It can be hard in the process, but always worth sticking with Him. Thank you, Martha!

  2. I do ask God for miracles because He is the only One capable of performing them. I don’t always get what I ask for but still I ask.

    I remember that after this part of the book Margaret mentioned something about “and if not.” My mind can’t recall if she was referring the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace or Daniel in the lion’s den. But they sought the intervention of God, a miracle by all accounts, and declared that if not (if God didn’t do what they anticipated) they still would serve Him.

    I guess that’s where I’m at. I’m in it until the end. Whatever and whenever that might be. I think I need the miracles but more than anything I need a tangible sense of God’s presence. Perhaps in the times we live in that is one of the greatest miracles of all? Just to know that He is for us when all has gone wild?

    Just a few words from a grief-stricken heart.

    • Yes, she talks about the three Hebrew men talking to the king saying God can deliver, “but if not, we still won’t worship you.” I’m asking for miracles too. This kind of stirred me again not to think so small and limited, but instead to simply ask (before all my reasoning kicks in). His presence is a beautiful miracle for us. It sustains and encourages our weary hearts. Praying for that deeper encouragement for you, Melinda. Blessings in Jesus’ name.

  3. Chid like faith. Exactly Jason. Asking God for it all without reservation, because He is big enough to handle it all.

    • This was a wonderful chapter. So encouraging and life-giving to me, Margaret. Thank you. 🙂

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