I’ve mentioned that I have been reading through the Bible again using the Amplified Bible (that I highly recommend by the way). I also cross reference the particular verse I am focusing on with a standard version such as the KJV or the ESV. Each time I read through the Bible I make a list of two or three specific things that I want to make particular note of. One of the things on my list this time was “Unanswered Questions”. Considering how long I have been doing this, it is amazing how long my list is getting and I’m only into 1st Samuel. Some of my “Unanswered Questions” are honest questions about something that I may have not questioned before. Others are scripture verses that have a tendency to fly in the face of common sense if you take them at face value. An example is where Samson killed 1000 Philistines with the jaw bone of a donkey. 1000 people is a lot of people. Sometimes I wish the Bible provided more information. I know, the scripture says that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Samson so that obviously makes a big difference but it still makes you stop and think.
Anyone who has spent years studying the Bible knows that there are many questions that we’re not going to get answers to, at least while we are here in the flesh. And I can live with that, I don’t have any show stopper questions about Jesus, I’m sold. That doesn’t mean I don’t still have questions about Jesus, just that they are not show stoppers. In my mind, the evidence is overwhelming. Evidence plus life experience equals faith or trust. And of course, the personal interventions that Jesus has graced me with over the years, that demonstrates that He hears me, loves me, and is intimately connected with my comings and goings, solidifies the convictions that I hold, that I cherish. It’s that personal connection, that personal involvement, that builds the relationship where evidence becomes more than just facts, more than just words. It’s a beautiful thing and one of the reasons why I honestly love Him. You don’t fall in love with facts, you fall in love with a person. The facts are absolutely necessary but they are not the end state, they’re just the doorway to a living relationship with God.
Revelation 3:20 NIV “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
I was praying the other day and asking Jesus to give me another sign, another validation that He still cares for me, personally, in spite of all my shortfalls. It happens, we have highs and we have lows and I was in a bit of a dip. Not a deep deep dip, just a bit of a dip, where my heart cried out to God. He has answered prayers of this type so many times before, so I asked. Like a child who just needs a reassuring hug.
He answered me right away, “I gave you Tracey back.” Just like that… boom… straight into my mind. Jesus never raises His voice, He never yells, at least that is my experience. Jesus says that His sheep know His voice and it is true. And of course He was right, I had overlooked this immense gift that He had given me just a few short years ago. Don’t ask me how I could forget that because I don’t know but somehow it had slipped from my memory at this particular point in time.
Tracey is our first child, long story short, she went through a terrible experience of abuse with her 1st husband and ended up getting divorced but it wasn’t over. She couldn’t deal with what it had done to her inside and she became a alcoholic. Years, terrible memories, and she almost died. I stood at her bedside in the hospital when her organs were shutting down and they didn’t think she would pull through. I cried out to God that night too, and He answered, not immediately, but shortly thereafter. She became a Christian, totally stopped drinking, married a Christian man who truly loves her and the rest is history. Such a beautiful gift. We love her with all of our hearts and she is such a joy to behold. She is a child of God now.
You’d think I wouldn’t have forgotten that wouldn’t you? But when I was praying, asking for that hug, I had forgotten. But Jesus hadn’t and He reminded me.
Have all of my questions and prayers been answered, especially when it comes to some of our unsaved children (who are now all grown up)? Nope, not yet, but it isn’t over until God says it’s over, so I continue to hold them up daily in my prayers and we extend our love to them whenever the opportunity presents itself. My wife takes the lead on this and I usually follow. Her love is relentless.
And it is the same for all of my brothers and sisters in the Lord, because God’s love is extended to all those who call upon His name. We all have unanswered questions and unanswered prayers. I suspect there is a reason for this and I also suspect that it is good.
So take heart, understand that God’s love for us surpasses our understanding and responds to each of us, uniquely, individually, in His own way, from His heart to our heart. What follows next is our response to His love, we love Him back. You can’t help but do otherwise. It’s what love does.
1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!