When I came through the door, they had already went deep.
Like, really deep.
I’m lucky to live close to some pretty cool women. Two are authors, Jenny Jones and Holley Gerth. Another is an amazing blogger and writer named Jennifer Watson. Then there’s Keri Bullington, who hosts a morning radio show.
Each of these women are communicators and that’s cool. But it’s the fact that they are so honest that really makes this special.
I loved that when I took my seat on Friday they had already went deep, talking about the good and hard stuff.
It’s freeing to have people in your life with which you can be open.
The disciples had that with Jesus.
There were times they expressed doubt and wonder. There were moments where they shouted at him to wake up, because they felt afraid.
Do we do the same for others?
These are some of the hard questions I’ve heard lately.
Where is God when people are blowing themselves up?
Why do I seem unloveable to those who love Jesus?
Why can’t I do what I want and still call myself Christian?
Is there really only one way to God?
Our reaction to questions like these might be to shut down the conversation.
Maybe we feel threatened, because we love God so much that it feels bad to question him or his love for humanity. Maybe we are afraid that we won’t have adequate answers, even though we are certain of our faith.
Sometimes the answers seem obvious, but we need to remember that it may not to those who are asking.
[ctt template=”4″ link=”ag16e” via=”yes” ]God is not afraid of hard questions. We do not have to be either. https://ctt.ec/ag16e+ #ComeWithMe @suzanneeller[/ctt]
Throughout Jesus’ three years with the disciples, they asked questions. Jesus answered them. Sometimes they understood. Sometimes his answers completely changed them. Sometimes the answers made sense later, when they were ready to receive the answer.
So what can we do?
Let people know that it’s okay to ask the hard questions.
I almost hear a sigh of relief from people when I admit that I don’t have all the answers. I promise I’ll pray about it. I’ll study. I’ll ask God to open both of our hearts to receive an answer.
We don’t have to pretend that we have it all figured out, or that there aren’t moments when we sit alone in the darkness and say, “What in the world is going on, God?”
Seek those answers together.
Some of my best conversations come as I say, “I don’t know, but can we pray about that together?”
God loves us. God loves that person. When we ask for his help, we can be assured that he’s listening.
Don’t use the Word to silence the conversation, but to extend it.
Pray about it together.
You’d be shocked at how powerful an offer for sincere prayer can be — when there’s no other agenda but to look for answers together. I used to be afraid to ask if someone if they wanted to pray. Until I realized that most were open to it.
If they say no, let them know that you’ll privately pray because they matter to you.
Tune in to what they are asking. Maybe there’s no words needed in the moment, but just a listening ear.
When you listen, listen all the way to the end, with no answers spilling out or spinning in your brain.
The question you thought they were asking might look very different if you really listen to what they are saying.
Ask your own questions
I’m not afraid to say that current events have shaken this girl. I don’t understand the taking of innocent lives. I don’t understand brutality against innocent girls. I shudder at the thought that we are becoming apathetic to the sight of men, women, and children killed when they are just going about their day.
I know that there’s events all throughout history that are brutal.
I realize that there has been suffering for centuries.
But all I’m asking from this little corner of the cyberworld is that we give ourselves and each other the freedom to ask the hard questions. Let’s walk through that open-door policy in our relationship with God together and bring our doubts, fears, and questions. Let’s find the wisdom we need and the peace we’re seeking, and perhaps even discover our part to play in the answers.
What might it look like for you to give others (or yourself) the freedom to ask the hard stuff?
Free online Come With Me Study resources for you, for a small group of friends at a coffee shop, or with your women’s ministry.
This study offers free teaching videos, downloadable prayer book and journal, as well as images that you can use on Facebook, on your blog, or just between friends.
These are great for small or large ministries desiring resources to help their women grow in faith, discovering the beauty of following Jesus wherever he leads.