A few years ago I realized my faith was at a standstill. I wasn’t growing in my walk with the Lord and I could not seem to put one spiritual foot in the front of the other. I went to church. I attended conferences and listened to sermons in the car. I read my Bible and I prayed for friends and family. I prayed for myself to be reinvigorated with a new sense of wonder for God’s Word. But somehow, I felt as if I was walking through life underwater. I could hear what was being said but it seemed strangely muffled and unclear. And the more I tried to fight through that sense of spiritual deafness, the worse it became.
Hear me when I say this friends: when we ask, God will answer!
It was a short clip of a sermon posted on social media that broke through the surface of my frustration. The soundbite, spoken by a pastor I don’t regularly listen to, was less than a minute long and profound in its application for my life. On an unordinary day, in the middle of an unremarkable week, between the baby crying and hastily applying my mascara, the Lord revealed the surprising and simple source of my struggle.
I could not stop asking one simple question.
That one question had become woven into the fabric of my faith. It was my default, as automatic as my next heart beat. A child is injured in a senseless accident. Why? A precious friend has cancer. Why? I’ve been unfairly treated. Why? This season is too hard and too long. Why? You didn’t stop their suffering. A thousand times why?
I was constantly trying to find answers while still in the hardest part of a storm. I realize now that I was desperate for the answers to life’s most difficult trials to fit into my own narrative in order to gain some measure of peace. I was not content with the unknown. And in time, the asking gave me more comfort than the answer because it gave me a false sense of control. I chose to seek without searching. I valued reason over wisdom and I constantly questioned without listening. Ultimately, I asked without believing.
What I heard in those thirty seconds took my breath away. Maybe the whys don’t matter as much as I needed them to. Maybe WHY wasn’t even the right question to ask.
There are questions we can ask that not only draw us into a closer, more intimate fellowship with God, but encourages us to deepen our faith in the midst of our darkest storms. Instead of asking why, look for the opportunities to ask how.
1. How is the Lord using this moment to reveal His character to me?
2. God, how can I serve others in this moment of need or crisis?
3. How is the Lord, no matter how big or small, proving faithful in my circumstances?
4. How am I maintaining a posture of faith?
5. How is God’s love today encouraging me to love others?
6. How am I trusting the Lord with this hurt instead of relying on my own inner dialogue?
Changing this one, simple question challenged me to look outside of myself when I had spent the better part of my faith turning inward. We get to choose where our focus in faith remains. It is on the One Who gave us life and continues to light our path. He has already promised us eternity, life everlasting and joy upon joy in just resting in Who He is? What a gift!
Don’t ever be afraid to ask Him your why, but then incline yourself to the deeper prayers of how and let God lead the way. I’m cheering you on today!
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