"If asking questions does not lead you to Jesus, then stop asking questions." I heard this quote while watching a Sunday service, and it resonated in me since I am one who is always asking the questions "Why" Or "What" The answers I seek in the asking, can take me away from Jesus and into myself. I have known this, but I still struggle with the questions. When it is God I am asking, it can become a matter of trust. There it is again. Trust.
When we heard this sermon online, Joel and I both thought back to a time just 7 years ago, when he went through a season of doubting God. We had purchased a house in the town where Joel had taken a new call at a Lutheran church. We looked for 6 months and then settled too quickly on a house that turned out to have a hidden chemical smell. We put thousands of dollars into making it a house I could tolerate with all my allergies, and sicknesses, but I still could not live there. We had sold our other home right away, but the deal fell through, (thank you Jesus) so we were able to move back to our old home an hour away and Joel commuted for 3 years. We had two house mortgages for 17 months. which was very challenging. I was very ill with the Lyme and the treatments were costing us a great deal of money out of pocket. Then we were in a terrible car accident and both of us took ambulance rides to the hospital. Joel ended up with 6 months of chiropractic work and also having to borrow a car until ours could be fixed. He also had emergency eye surgery on BOTH eyes in Mpls. MN 2 hours from our home. It. was. tough. With the long commute, sometimes sleeping on a sofa in his office nights, taking care of a very sick homebound and often bedbound wife, doing all the shopping and most of the cooking, and trying to manage as senior pastor at a larger congregation........he was exhausted and unbeknown to him, fighting Lyme Disease himself.
He began to doubt if God cared. He asked God all the why questions and in the process of using his human reasoning, he began to doubt not only God's plan, but if God really existed. He opened the door to the enemy when he took His eyes off of God. One day as he was driving to the church he asked, "Okay, God, do you really even exist?" As soon as he asked that question, he thought....'Well, that is dumb. I am wondering if God exists and asking God Himself if He does!"
The questions stopped and the doubt ended. The gratefulness began, and through 3 more very tough years where we both were extremely ill, Joel was on disability, and our days consisted of medications, herbs, hours of chair sitting, and long hours of sleep, he did not dwell on the "Why" questions. We kept our eyes of Jesus praying and believing He would provide one day at a time. And He did. We can look back now and see how God wove blessings into our lives in the midst of the storm. We can see provision, strength, encouragement and prayers from others, and healing.
Proverbs 3 tells us to trust in the Lord with all our heart and not rely on our own understanding. There it is....our own human reasoning. That is what kept the disciples on the Emmaus road from recognizing Jesus. Human reasoning closed their eyes to what they were seeing before them, the risen Savior.
Not always, but often the why questions end up separating us from our Lord. Pastor Eric Johnson says, "The space between us and Jesus gets wider when we use human reasoning" We lose sight of Jesus. Our relationship with Jesus is more important than having the answers to all our questions. We need to be aware that sometimes the "why" questions get in the way. In trusting our Lord, we are more able to recognize Jesus on our own Emmaus roads.