Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Right Answer to the Wrong Questions

I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer.
You are yourself the answer.
Before your face questions die away.
What other answer would suffice?                      
~ C.S. Lewis ~

In one of his books, Lewis uses the following question as an illustration of nonsensical questions:
            Is yellow round or square?
He then states that nonsense is still nonsense, whether we ask it of one another or of God.  However, the questions we often pose to the Almighty, whether or not we ever actually voice them, seem logical and even critical to us.
When will this be better ... or over?
Why me or my family?
How could they?
Such questions, carried on the heart, not only seem sensible, but we sometimes wonder, how can a loving God not give us a reply?
As Lewis points out in today's quote, He has provided us with an answer - Himself. 
When we ponder the tough issues of life, we want a step-by-step explanation from God as to the how and why of our dilemma.  Instead, He introduces us to the I Am of the Way.
Early Christian were often known simply as "the people of the Way."  Not the people with all the answers, nor the ones with no unanswered questions, and certainly not the people without any problems, but rather the people who followed Someone who did know the way they were going, and knew how to get them to their ultimate destination.
I don't know about you, but when I ask someone what time it is, I don't want them to tell me how to build a clock.  Nevertheless, we want the exact opposite from God.  He keeps trying to tell us what time it is, "look, the fields are white to harvest, the laborers are few, ..the time is coming when no man can work...".
But we want him to tell us how to build a "clockwork" life, with finances that never get tangled, relationships that never do either, and opportunities that abound among which we may freely choose.
Of course, he has given us some wonderful guidelines in His Word.  And when we apply them consistently we do experience fewer tangled messes in our lives.  But sometimes, when we forget that He alone is the answer to all our questions, we are in the same silly boat as my five year old once was when he asked me, "Mom, what's above the sky?"  When I explained a bit about the atmosphere, and then the spiritual place beyond that called heaven, I told him that he might think of the sky as the floor of heaven.
He got an impish grin and then said, "Well, wouldn't it be funny if I poked a hole in the sky with my light-saber, and God and all his angels fell right through?"
I laughed and and replied, "It doesn't work that way."  When we get frustrated and are tempted to demand an answer from God, I suspect our Father is smiling, shaking his head and saying, "It doesn't work that way."
There is an old song,  that says "It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus. ... One glimpse of his dear face, all sorrows will erase, so gladly run the race, 'till we see Him.
His silence is not indifference to our questions.  It is God declining to repeat Himself, as He has already given the answer.  His name is Jesus.


  1. Ouch! You've said it very well here. I saw myself in many of your words, at times the person asking for the time and not liking the answer, at times your son and his ability to see through stuff, at times, his mom with a word that was wiser. And yet, through it all... He continues to teach me about who He is.

    I particularly liked the last paragraph...'His silence is not indifference to our questions. It is God declining to repeat Himself, as He has already given the answer. His name is Jesus'

    What more needs to be said?

    Great post!

  2. Love, love, love this post, hit it all right on the head! I can't even pick out one quote I liked especially...because the whole post was so spot on. I love the way you share your heart. Thanks so much for sharing today...and please forgive me for getting the linky up so late. Completely slipped my mind that it was my week somehow!

  3. God is declining to repeat Himself

    A powerful statement I will remember. I also appreciated your clock example. I never thought about it before, but I DO expect more of an answer than I need. Wonderful insight.

    Just give us what we need, God.

  4. Sonja - Very true - we are each in different places in our lives at different times. Fortunately He is also in "each place" for us!

    Jennifer - I'm very glad the post fit well with this week's theme. I enjoy participating and try to read each post on the weekly quote. Not to worry about the Linky - as I often cannot figure those out anyway. :)

    Tami - Always good to hear from you. And glad you are resisting those "hiding instincts."

    Thank you to each of you for your encouraging feedback. Talk to you soon. ...Marsha

  5. His silence is not indifference.

    Amen, my friend. Amen.

    Beautiful post. Loved it!

  6. I agree, sometimes I think we use aGod as our magic wand...asking by prayer to fulfill all our wishes. Instead we need to trust that whatever is in the stars for us needs to be realized that it is His will not ours.
    I just read your last post too...I actually kissed the Blarney Stone when in Ireland! I dared my sister and she dared me...ha!

  7. Marsha...

    I am reminded of a "conversation" I had once with God regarding my future. I asked him, "Father, what's next?" His immediate reply, strikingly so (not out loud, but a strong sense in my spirit)...

    "I'm next."

    Those two words dropped me to my knees and seared deeply into my heart. I've never forgotten that moment. I'm reminded of it again while reading your words here.

    peace to you~elaine

    PS: Thanks for stopping by the blog!