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Can You Question God?

A child, no matter how bright, has limitations in experience and ability to process and think things through.

Imagine parents taking their child to Grandma’s house. The little girl loves her grandma and can’t wait to see her again. The only thing she doesn’t understand is that even though her parents told her, Grandma doesn’t live in the same house or even the same city.

The landmarks she knows are nowhere to be found. She starts feeling anxious and fearing that they aren’t going to make it to Grandma’s house or that maybe her parents forgot how to get there. The uncomfortable feelings continue to grow.

“Are you sure this is the right way? I don’t remember this road,” she says.

Her parents reassure her that they know where they’re going and Grandma will be so excited to see them.

“I don’t think this is right,” she says, anxiety growing. “Take me to Grandma’s house!”

She’s shocked at her own forcefulness and anger. Her parents try to calm her down, but she grows inconsolable.

“I know this is not the right way! I just wanted to go to Grandma’s house! Why did you bring me here?”

With love, her parents continue to comfort her because they understand how confusing it is.

“You’re just going to have to trust me,” Dad says. The little girl collapses in a heap of tears, but resigns herself to the journey even though fear keeps calling and anxiety threatens to lead her back to tears. There may come a point where she dares to look out the window and learn to appreciate the new scenery.

I realize the things we go through feel a whole lot bigger than an altered or new route, but catch the metaphor. To a child, it feels as if the world is ending, but the adult understands more fully what’s going on. A child can’t conceive how this can be anything but bad, but the parents know differently.

The ultimate point though is that good parents are not going scream at, disown, or punish kids who are facing fears and anxiety and expressing themselves in a healthy way. They’re not hurting themselves or others, they’re not fixated–they’re just processing in the best way they can.

questionThe men who wrote the book of Psalms were very adept at this. They often question God and where He is and what’s going on. Situations feel overwhelming. Life seems unnecessarily difficult. David wrote this in Psalm 62:8,

Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.

Not only trust Him with your destination, but trust Him with your questions.

Pour out your heart and wait for His response. You’re not being insolent. You’re not lacking faith. You’ve submitted yourself to His journey and He will bring you there safe as you learn to trust Him. Through the discomfort. Through the answered questions that still don’t seem to make a lot of sense.

Trust Him.

But trust doesn’t mean no questioning or never feeling anger. You can’t live there, but healthy people express those things. They own up to what they feel and pour out their hearts much like the ancient psalmists did.

So what do you think? Do you agree? Is there room for healthy questioning and even healthy anger? How do you deal with such things?


  1. Absolutely. In small groups I’ve told people that I’ve argued with God. I’ve written angry songs to Him. Most people would agree that that is healthy. Oh, but there are always a few old-timers who can’t fathom the idea. That think it’s blasphemous. God is big. He can take it. I don’t think He wants good little programmed robots. I think He wants emotional human beings. That’s how He created us.

    • There’s always a line, of course. I remember He is the God of the Universe, but He also says that by the spirit of adoption I can cry, “Abba, Daddy.” You’re right--He’s a big God who has His own emotions and He can handle ours whether we like what we’re feeling or not. He is ultimately the safest place for us to bring those things. Thanks Dan.

  2. I think to question our Father in reverence is healthy. I also think all relationships might be a little different as it is with our own children. What might be acceptable to one may not be to another. I think of Paul’s analogy of the clay questioning the hand of the Master it sits in. Interesting subject and great analogy.

    • You’re right. It has to fit within the character and nature of God revealed in scripture. If you really know your dad, you also know how to question and what he will respond to. We have to know our Dad! Thanks so much, Floyd.

  3. When my dad died I learned that it’s okay to question God and even to be angry with Him. I grew so much during that painful time, I learned how much God truly loves me and how personable He is.

    • I think what we leave hidden or in the dark is what kills us. It’s what the devil uses against us and baits us to sin. If we feel it and own it, God can comfort and bring light to us. Thanks TC.

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