Questions Without Answers?
Questions Without Answers?
© Mary Elder-Criss
Being the mother of a seven year old daughter, I’m quite familiar with answering questions. (Or at least fielding them to her father.) When she was younger, her questions usually fell into the categories of asking why the grass was green, or the sky was blue. As she has grown older in years, her inquisitions have grown more complex as well. Most of the time, I don’t mind answering her queries, but sometimes, it does get tiring. It seems for every answer I give, it only creates another question in her mind.
Recently, she has tried to question matters of authority as well. Rules that she knows will not be bent to her satisfaction, no matter how many different ways she wheedles or whines, have still come under her scrutiny. Even though she is aware that I will be displeased with her behavior, it has still been a contest of wills.
Last night, as she attempted to engage my husband and me in a battle regarding her bed time, we finally had to put our collective foot down, and tell her she had to go to bed at that certain time, simply because “We said so.” Although this is not a response that we normally choose to give in our household, sometimes it is the only answer there is to childish demands.
That is when I began to understand how God must feel when I come to Him, questioning, demanding, never content with His responses to my petitions. Acting petulantly, I may as well stomp my foot and stick my lip out to complete my childish behavior. I need to stop and remember that He is my heavenly Father, who only has my best wishes in mind. Often the only response appropriate to my endless questions is a Kingly, “Because I said so.”
My daughter will turn eight years old in a week or so, and the anticipation of her birthday, and the gifts she will receive has created a high state of excitement. She knows that we, as her parents will give her, to the best of our ability, the items that she has requested. The hard part is the waiting period. She will not receive the presents until the appointed time.
God, as well, has promised me “good gifts.” Just like my daughter, the anticipation of the gifts He has promised me is sometimes almost more than I can bear. Yet I know that if I have asked, I will receive. It is however, only in His appointed time.
Or what man is there among you, who if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Matt 7: 9-11
Lately, I’ve found myself asking questions of God, but in a new way. Instead of acting petulantly, questioning Him on His timing, and His whereabouts when I am enduring trials, I am instead trying to ensure that I am walking in His will for my life. I am asking for wisdom, and desiring His guidance.
The most difficult component of these petitions has been awaiting His answers, of course. I have never had an enormous amount of patience, and I know that God desires that I should learn this fruit, and begin to bear it in my life, most especially with my children. Recently, I approached the altar for prayer in a morning worship service in my church. As Pastor approached me to pray with me, He spoke through the Spirit one simple phrase. “The Answer is coming soon.”
Just as I told my daughter this morning, “The day is coming for your birthday, Erin, for your gifts, be patient,” God is whispering to me...”The day is coming for your good gifts, and the answer to your questions, my child, be patient.”
The questions without answers will soon be fulfilled.
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Very good article! I also enjoyed the smooth transitions from the physical to the spiritual, and the analogy you draw between your daughter and you and you and God. I have only one picky grammar thing: "seven year old daughter" in the first paragraph should be "seven-year-old daughter." Don't you just hate it when we picky grammarians review an article!?!
Mary, That was a great article! I loved your first transition from the physical life to the spiritual application. It was SO smooth. Great job! God bless you! Donna
This is very well written Mary. One small pick and this is probably open to debate, depending on one's own style, but in your third paragraph you say, "sometimes it is often". Somehow that just doesn't sound right. Anyway, it's probably a matter of preference.
Very well said, Mary - and so true! I love the way you describe yourself as a pouty child when you don't get your way - a lot like many of us I'm sure. A couple of grammar pickies: "... she attempted to engage my husband and I in a battle..." - it should be 'my husband and me.' Also "...we finally had to put our foot down..." I know what you mean, but grammatically it should be 'put our feet down' which, for my money, sounds just as awkward. How about: 'put our united foot down' or something similar. Thanks for sharing! ~ Violet