A Crisis of Question

I rested at 35,000 feet. The plane was dark, quiet, and only half-full. Tom and I shared three seats. I leaned against the window. Covered with my faux-fur blanket from Costco, I was deep in thought.

Tom returned from the bathroom and leaned over. “I just looked into the mirror after a week.”

I knew what he meant. We’d travelled to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. We visited villages that could have been in a National Geographic Magazine. Half-dressed, hungry children, along with their tired mothers, peeked out of mud and stick shacks as we passed out candy, inviting them to a Christmas party. Mirrors were few and far between. It wasn’t pretty.

Intense could not begin to describe it.

Tom leaned over again. “I don’t want to be like the man in James who looked at himself in the mirror and then walked away and forgot what he looked like.” (James 1:23)

I understood that, too. I prayed that spending a week in Central America would change us forever. I know that life takes over and the urgent sometimes conquers the important and maybe we could forget. But I didn’t want to.

Here’s the trouble —I’m still not sure what I learned. I’m not sure what I shouldn’t forget.

So for the next several days, I’m going to write myself through it. It was so painful, I need to explore it, pray about it, and ask for God’s wisdom. I know that He will answer. James 1:5 states, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously an without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

So mine is not a crisis of faith because it is not me that holds on. It is God. John 10: 27, 28 states, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

Romans 8: 35 states, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness or peril, or sword?” It’s a rhetorical question since verse 38 goes on to state, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, not any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God’s got the love rope tied securely around me, but I have questions. And there was definitely a crisis. So I’m going to tell you about it, not because I think I’m smarter or even important. I haven’t written any theological books nor do I plan to.

I’m going to write about my struggles so I won’t forget. I’m going to write about it to make discoveries on my own. So maybe you can discover with me. Maybe you have some of the same questions.

Sometimes in America, I think we keep busy so we can avoid difficult questions. Or perhaps we think to question God jeopardizes our salvation. It doesn’t.

I’m not demanding any answers from God. I don’t want Him to ask me where I was when He created the world like He did to Job. Instead, I’m humbly asking questions of my Papa.

Just this morning I prayed, “Lord, I have a quarter mustard seed of faith. Please increase it. Like the man with a demon-possessed son I ask you, ‘Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.’ I even have 1/100ths of a seed of intelligence and I am asking difficult questions of you, Lord. Help me.”

And just like a Father, the Lord God will tell me what I need to know. I know that I won’t understand everything, but maybe I will understand some things better. And for what I cannot understand, my prayer is that He will give me the faith to trust.

I am weak. He is strong.

I will be transparent. I will be real.

Join me, will you?

4 Comments on "A Crisis of Question"

  1. brian sloan says:

    I’m glad you got to go. I’m looking forward to your blogs.

  2. Margaret says:

    I’m joining you. I love you friend.

  3. Janel Balogh says:

    I am looking forward to reading through this with you. Glad you had the chance to go. Maybe your questions will help my questions.

  4. Marti Barthauer says:

    Thanks, Pauline. You’ve got my attention. Eager for the follow-up blogs:)

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