There are those who say faith means you never doubt. Those who live by the creed, “Don’t ask questions!”
But I say faith is exactly what you cling to in the margins of doubt–when you have exhausted all the possibilities that exist in the physical, you-can-touch-it world and yet you KNOW there is MORE.
Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].
Hebrews 11:1 AMP
Questions are how you mark the borders of what you know and find the edges of what you don’t.
This week I judged a high school debate. It took me back over a decade to the time and place my own children were competing in tournaments. As I watched the eager and earnest faces of these young adults, I remembered the equally eager and earnest face of Dominic.
He was always passionate about a debate.
Not so much the formal ones–he was on the tail-end of our family’s participation in that scene–but the kind you have around the dinner table and the campfire. He did not like to lose. But more importantly, he would not tolerate sloppy thinking or lousy logic.
And I hear his voice in these months after his death challenging me to think critically and work carefully through my doubts and my feelings about life, about death, about grief and about eternity.
When we discussed Scripture, or politics, or lifestyle, or the intersection of all three, Dominic would often be the one digging deeper, looking longer at the hand-me-down Bible verses used to proclaim and prop up popular points of view. He asked, “Why?” and “Why not?” The six of us spent hours talking (sometimes arguing)–passionately defending our own understanding and interpretations.
All of my children are critical thinkers. And I am grateful for this.
I don’t want to raise a generation that accepts without comment the thoughts and actions of the generation before.
Isn’t that part of what blinded the Pharisees and Saducees to the Presence of Messiah in their midst? They clung desperately to what they thought they knew, all the time missing the very revelation of God they craved.
So, in honor of Dominic, I will allow myself the time, the energy and the space to wrestle with my questions. I will search the Scriptures. I will ask God for insight. I will push back against the knee-jerk reactions and answers that come too easily and offer a false sense of closure.
God is not threatened by my wondering. His throne is in no danger due to my queries.
It is most often other believers who find the questions unsettling.
I don’t want or expect to have the last word. I believe that belongs to the Creator of the Universe. But I think He will hear my plea.
In my trouble I called to the Lord. I cried out to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice. My call for help reached his ears.
Psalm 18:6 ICB