Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Asking God Questions

Do you ask God questions?
Do you ask them in faith and wonder?
Or are they skeptical and unbelieving?

As I've been reading and reflecting on the story of Jesus' birth this Christmas season, I've been struck by the questions asked by those given messages by heavenly messages. The questions asked by two different people resulted in two different outcomes.

The first question was asked Zechariah after he was told his wife would have a son in her old age. Like 1:18 records his question: "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years." The result of Zechariah asking this question was that he was unable to speak until his son was born.

The second question was asked by Mary in response to her visit from an angel saying she would give birth to the long-awaited Messiah. Luke 1:34 records her question: "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel explained to Mary how this would happen.

Two situations.
Two questions.
Two different responses.

But, it was the difference in the responses to Zechariah's and Mary's questions that wouldn't leave me alone. Why were there such different responses?

In both situations, the questions were asked in response to messages from angels about situations that were impossible from a human standpoint.Both questions were in response to messages from God after 400 years of silence.

So, what caused one of the be silenced until the message from the angel came to pass and other one got an answer to their question?

For those answers, we have to go back and look at the questions that were asked. The words used, and the way they were asked. When I read the questions side-by-side, the difference became clear.

Zechariah's question is filled with skepticism. He's looking for some sort of guarantee. His faith is not there in the moment he asks the question. It's not a question of curiosity; it's a question demanding satisfaction of his doubts.

Mary's question is out of curiosity and wonder. The message she's heard seems impossible, but she's choosing to believe God can do it. She's asking how out of a position of trust and faith.

We can take our questions to God. These are not the only time in Scripture where people asked questions of God. The part that matters is our heart when we ask the question. We can come with fonder and faith and ask questions. Or we can come with skepticism - looking only for what we will consider acceptable proof.

It's our faith, even when we have questions, that's the important part.

When you have questions, how do you take them to God?
With faith and wonder?
Or with skepticism?

"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."
                                           -Luke 1:45, Elizabeth's word to Mary at her visit

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