God Cares About our Hard Questions

I grew up living in fear of God. No, not the fear that means revering Him, but the quaking fear of being pursued by an unapproachable, vindictive God who sought to harm me. I pictured Him as standing above me with a sword ready to strike me down and cast me into hellfire if I stepped even one toenail out of the way of what the church dictated.

I learned not to question God and not to question the ministers who were set in authority over us, because they were God’s messengers speaking for God. Spiritual, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse from a minister locked me in a prison with no way out.

BUT GOD…

Thanks be to God who broke the chains and did provide a way out. It’s an ongoing healing journey, but God has graciously led me to a way of love through Jesus, a love we didn’t hear much of. God is love. He delights to save us, not to harm us. He doesn’t want anyone to perish, and He doesn’t condemn us.

God doesn’t stop loving us when questions plague our hearts. It doesn’t mean we have a lack of faith or are being irreverent if we approach Him with them. He invites us to pour out all our confusion to Him, even though He already knows what is bothering us. He may not always give us answers here in this broken world, but He cares about our questions and uses them to help us in mourning our losses.

We can’t always trace God’s hand in events in this world and in our lives, but we can trust His heart. His arms are always open for us to run into and to be embraced to His heart of everlasting, unfailing love. He won’t always answer our questions, but it is His pleasure to give us grace to hold His hand and trust His heart and His infinitely higher thoughts and plan. He won’t always stop the pain, but He will bring beauty out of it in His way and timing. He won’t always fix what’s broken while we’re on this earth, but He gives us the courage to let go of our plans as we surrender to His control and remember His love never fails, no matter what.

We are not alone when we ask God “Why?”

  • When the Israelites wailed and complained and blamed Moses about their plight, Moses was frustrated and asked God, Why have You been so hard on Your servant?” (Numbers 11:11) It’s like he asked, “Here I am serving You, God, so why is all this happening? Why are You laying such a heavy burden on me?” God answered by qualifying others to help Moses carry the burden. The people were still discontent, but God strengthened him to carry on.

  • David asked, “Oh Lord, why do You stand far off? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1) He was in deep lament over all the sin and injustice against the innocent, the poor, and the helpless. It seemed God was unconcerned and hiding Himself. Though God didn’t directly mete out the justice right then, He did help David to focus on God’s faithful character as the Helper of the helpless. Someday there will be an end to all the oppression.

  • The prophet Habbakuk’s name means “he who embraces.” It was through grappling with tough questions that he came to a firm faith. In the first chapter, he asked God, “Why do You make me look at injustice? Why do You tolerate wrongdoing?” (Habbakuk 1:3) His heart was pained that God wasn’t immediately exacting justice against wrongdoings. He learned that things don’t happen according to our schedule or our plan but only in the way and timing of God.

  • In the anguish of his spirit, Job asked, “Why have You made me Your target?” (Job 7:20) He lost all his children and his possessions. He acknowledges he is not sinless, even though he had a close relationship with God, but he can’t understand why it seems God is destroying him. Though Job didn’t get his children back and He would continue to feel the loss, God eventually gave him more children and more possessions than before. God restored his spirit and gave him grace to go on, and his faith became even deeper through this devastating trial.

  • The most remarkable question of all was by Jesus who took our place and suffered for our sins. In the deepest soul anguish ever, He cried out to His Father, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) He didn’t just “feel” like God forsook Him like we sometimes do. He really was forsaken. For us. Now even when it “feels” like God has abandoned us, we have the steadfast promise that He never will.

God gives us these stories and so many more to shine like beacons of hope that we are not alone. He will always be with us, even when it seems like He’s not.

Why God?

Before Austin sings this song, he shares how God showed him that it’s okay to ask Him the hard questions.

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to Me,
all of you who are weary
and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.‘”
Matthew 11:28

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18

30 thoughts on “God Cares About our Hard Questions

  1. Dear Trudy,

    Thank you for this post.
    So many times I have asked “why” in the last few years.
    So many times I have written “I don’t understand” in my writings.
    In fact my mom wrote in my baby book that one of my first words was “why”.
    Little did I know as a child that I would still be asking why when I am 50 years old.
    Will I ever have the answers?
    Probably not.
    But I think I got an answer this week.

    These past few years I have been comparing myself to Job.
    Everything was taken away from me.
    And no, I did not have the “patience of Job” 🙂
    But the life of Job was what I had prayed for…

    I remember it so well,
    Sitting in my old dark red-orange chair,
    At my old house,
    And writing out a prayer to God,
    Asking God to help me let go of everything I needed to let go of.
    And in my heart of hearts,
    I knew it was everything,
    But I did not quite expect it to be everything.

    I lost everything.

    But today,
    As I sit here writing to you,
    God is bringing me back to my home.
    And the old dark red-orange chair still sits in the very same corner,
    As a reminder of that prayer I that I sent up to God,
    “Please help me let go of everything I need to let go of.”

    I am in the process of moving back to the home where I raised my five kids.
    It is the only place that has ever really felt like home to me.
    And my relationship with all of my kids is slowly repairing.
    We are all gradually healing.

    And I see now…
    God saved that home for us,
    My kids are still here,
    And we are all healing.
    He did not forsake me.
    He did not let me go.
    I just needed to let go of all earthly things,
    In order to better trust him.

    I am a different person now,
    And I hope I am a better person for it all.

    So yea,
    God is so, so faithful,
    To us all.
    And sometimes when we ask God for something.
    He actually gives it to us!
    And that is a good thing!
    God took everything away from me,
    Because that is what my soul was asking for.
    I wanted that close walk with him,
    And he helped me to get there!
    And it was hard,
    So, so hard,
    But it was worth it,
    And I am forever grateful to God for answering my prayer!

    And I would like to thank you Trudy,
    For helping me along the way on this long dark journey of finding God.
    You have been a great inspiration to me.
    So thank you my dear aunt!
    I Love You!

    Shelley

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    • Oh Shelley, this brings tears to my eyes. Yes, it has been a long, devastating journey for you, starting even before any of us knew your pain. And it will continue to be a lifelong healing journey. But God will be with you even in those times when it doesn’t feel like it. May God keep healing you and your children ever more deeply! I’m so grateful to God for giving you your country home back. God surely has answered your prayers in many ways. And I pray He will continue to deepen your relationship with Him. And with your kids. You will remain in my heart and prayers, my dear niece! I love you, too! Lots! May we cling to our compassionate God who loves us so deeply and unconditionally!

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  2. Hope is my word for the year, Trudy, and your post here filled me with so much of that in quantity and quality. Yes, we may not feel that God hears our prayers, but we can trust that He will answer in His time and place, all according to His perfect plan. God’s stories do shine like beacons of hope when we are feeling lost and alone. May we all reach out to Him each and every day.
    Blessings, my friend!

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    • I’m so grateful God’s stories here filled you with hope, Martha. “May we all reach out to Him each and every day.” Amen! We need Him so. Blessings to you, too! May we more and more open our hearts to God’s faithful love and goodness!

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  3. I am weeping at your words, Trudy. Oh how you shine the love, truth and grace of our LORD so brightly. Oh how my heart hurts that you walked through such abuse and trauma. But praise God that that is not the end of your story and that God has redeemed and is redeeming it all.

    I, for one, have personally tasted of God’s love, comfort, grace and hope through you. Bettie recently sent me a video you sent her and I wept and wept at the timing of the timely Word of encouragement. His Word and Spirit is so alive and active in you. May He shower you in blessings, returning into your lap the gifts you have continually poured out upon others. May you feel His oil of anointing trickling upon your head as you continue to speak boldly of His love and grace. Much love to you from afar xxx

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    • Thank you so much for your compassion and your loving encouragement and prayers, Anna. Yes, praise God that the abuse and trauma aren’t the end of the story. And that He is redeeming your traumatic story, too. God can make beauty out of ashes. This reminds me of place of hope in Kenya (Mercy House Global) that rescues pregnant girls from trafficking. When one of the maternity homes burned down, everything was gone except for one wall with two pics that read – “He makes beauty out of ashes” and “It is well with my soul.” Isn’t that amazing? God is still at work even in the midst of devastation. Much love to you, too! May our hearts more and more open to God’s power and willingness to make beauty out of our ashes!

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  4. Oh Dear Trudy, once again your words came at just the right time for me. As I was sitting at the treatment center last week, I found myself asking that very question, “Why God? Why has no treatment worked?” And for a moment I had a picture of how my life could have gone. But then it was as if a curtain was pulled down, and I heard God say “No. That isn’t the life I have planned for you. I have other purposes, new ways for you.” It does make all the difference when we honestly ask God, waiting with an open heart to hear His answer. But now today, I have a series of Doctor appointments coming, where I must ask them my questions, and my heart has been quaking with fear. The fear of man is an awful feeling. Past hurts do consume our thoughts. But thank you for reminding me that God’s love is always present for us. Just as He listened to my questions for Him, He will guide my questions to others too. Thank you, Trudy, for listening to God and sharing your heart from Him. Love and prayers for you today

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    • Oh Bettie, you have had so many past hurts with asking doctors questions. No wonder the fear sets in. Yes, that fear of man because of past hurts is an awful feeling. I pray God will gird you up in a special way and guide your questions today and give you strength in body, mind, and spirit. “It does make all the difference when we honestly ask God, waiting with an open heart to hear His answer.” Yes, “honestly” and “waiting with an open heart to hear His answer” are so important, aren’t they? We might not always like His answer or His silence, but as you say here – “God’s love is always present for us.” Love and prayers for you, too! May we cling to our ever faithful Savior and Rescuer!

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  5. Trudy, thank you! I have yet to meet anyone like our Savior who welcomes us just as we are, enfolds us in His healing grace, calls us beloved, and meets the deepest needs of our souls. Where would we be without Jesus and His compassion, His kindness, His wisdom …

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    • Me, too, Linda. We will never meet anyone who compares to our Savior. Yes, where would we be without Him? He is the oxygen to our souls. I love your description. 🙂 May we continually flee to Him who will always welcome us no matter what!

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  6. Trudy, this is so beautiful. I’m so glad God can handle our questions. He hears us and He answers . . . in His way and time. But, He is always faithful. I loved the examples you shared from the Bible about people who brought their hard questions to Him. We have to trust Him if we’re going to be vulnerable before Him. He is always trustworthy. Thank you for sharing in your gentle way, my friend. Love and blessings to you!

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    • I’m so glad, too, that God can handle our questions, Jeanne. He is infinitely bigger than any of our problems, isn’t He? It can be so hard to wait for His way and time, but He is faithful. Love and blessings to you, too! May He help us to surrender our control to His all-wise plan!

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  7. This is a great post, Trudy! I think it’s so important to know that we can ask God questions and be honest with him about our feelings and even our doubts, knowing that he will always welcome us. I love the examples you selected here and especially your comment that Habakkuk’s faith was strengthened because he wrestled with the questions. I have definitely seen that in my own life. I’m glad that you came to know God’s love, and I love how tenderly you point others to that too.

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    • Thank you for your kind words, Lesley. I have learned, too, that wrestling with questions and being honest with God strengthens our faith. And even if He doesn’t always answer right away, He gives us grace to go on. He is so faithful and good. May we come to know God’s love ever more deeply that it shines out to others around us!

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  8. Thank you for gathering all these examples in God’s word of how He is for us, not against us, Trudy. And truly sees and understands, and has His good, good higher purpose in mind! I didn’t know Habakuk means ‘he who embraces it.’ Fascinating! Every word in the bible is connected to His BIG story we are all participating in.

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    • Yes, He “has His good, good higher purpose in mind!” Thank you, Lynn. Sometimes when we’re in the midst of heartache, it’s hard to see His BIG story, but He remains faithful. As I searched more into Habakkuk, I found it fascinating, too. May we learn to more and more embrace God and His plan and may grappling with our questions lead to greater faith!

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  9. I had that same fear of God as a child (not the good kind!). Thankfully, thankfully, he delivered me from the fear of him and replaced it with a sheltering love that I love to run to. It’s a miracle I don’t want to ever overlook! Thanks for sharing this song too. It’s new to me. Listening to it now… Blessings to you, sweet Trudy!

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    • “A sheltering love that I love to run to.” Yes! That’s a beautiful way to describe it, Lisa. Yes, it truly is a miracle He delivered us from that wrong perception of Him! Blessings to you, too! May we continue to run to Him and be sheltered in His love!

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  10. Trudy, such a beautiful heart felt post. Like many, I grew up fearing God in the wrong way, but gratefully He gently showed me His perfect love which casts out all fear. I have learned God welcomes our questions in the hard places, in fact He delights to reveal Himself to us in the midst of those questions. Thank you for your encouraging words!

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    • I’m so glad you were encouraged, Donna. What a blessings that God gently showed you His perfect love that casts out all fear. Yes, truly, He “delights to reveal Himself to us in the midst of those questions.” May we freely open up our heart to Him and may He reveal Himself to us more and more!

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  11. Aw, Trudy … yours is such a story of redemption and rescue. My heart aches when I think of all that happened to you, but it’s such an encouragement to see how God revealed to you who he really is and how he has used you (and continues to use you) to share the path of life with others. I may have asked you this already, but have you read “Gentle and Lowly” by Dane Ortlund? I’ve been reading it with a friend, a few chapters a week, and I have a feeling you might be blessed by it. Love and hugs, friend.

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    • Thank you for your love and compassion, Lois. Yes, a story of redemption and rescue. I can’t be grateful enough. That book does sound really hope-filled. Just the cover alone drew me in. 🙂 And the description and reviews even more. Thank you. I put it on my wish list. Love and hugs to you, too! May we open our hearts more and more to the beauty of Jesus’ heart!

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    • I can never be thankful enough, June. I know I never would have survived the many years of ongoing healing without my precious Jesus and His faithful love and endless compassion. May we remember He is with us always, even in those times we can’t “feel” Him!

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