Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why I Bought A Mug With A Question Mark On It

It was a month or so ago when I was heading towards the frozen foods aisle at Target and got sidetracked by this...

A simple mug with a question mark on it.

It perked my interest, but I left it on the shelf.

Then it caught my eye on the next visit...and the next one...

And then one visit I noticed the peculiar mug had been marked half off and was on sale for $2.50, so I bought it and use it often for my morning coffee.

Why would I want to buy such a mug?

Now, that's a good question!

(So sorry, I just couldn't resist. Haha.)

In all seriousness, it is because I can identify with that little mug.  There have been times where I have felt as if my life has been marked by a big, huge question mark.

And it's been a journey.  Because on the one hand, carrying unanswered questions can be incredibly trying and feel like weakness or lack of faith, but on the other hand it is marked by perseverance and seems evident of authentic faith.  Still believing when you can't see all the answers right in front of you, but trusting that they are there.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1

I have quite a few unanswered questions right now.  Actually, I have a few more today than I did yesterday.  Some are small and relatively minor; others are big and quite significant.  I am learning that God can handle my questions.  In fact, Jesus asked a question that has burned through my soul as I've thought about this subject.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Matthew 27:46

He was suffering in our place on the cross.  He was in submission to the perfect plan and will of God the father.  We know he had asked God to take the cup of suffering from him, but had uttered those beautiful words of submission and surrender...not my will but Thine be done.

Ultimately, love overcame!  Death was defeated and victorious resurrection triumphed! Yet as Jesus hung on the cross in obedience to God as the sacrifice for our sins, literally giving his life and taking the punishment for those sins upon himself, he cried out to God with an agonizing question.  The Bible records the question.  It also records the sweat that became drops of blood.  The weeping in the garden.  

So I am learning to cry out honestly to God with my questions.  With my stress.  With my tears. And when nothing in life or this world seems to make sense,God's overcoming power and presence are just as sure as the morning sun.  I may not know all that will happen, but I know He is there.  He listens to my questions. And He loves me through them.

Sometimes He answers them quickly, and sometimes I wait and lean on His understanding.

The secret things belong to the Lord our God...

Deuternomy 29:29a

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

It's interesting how information stays in your brain.  How you can go years, even decades, without thinking of something and then one day it is right there.

As I type this, a song from my childhood in the 80's comes to mind.  I haven't heard it in ages.  Some of you may remember it.

When answers aren't enough there is Jesus
He is more than just an answer to your prayer
And your heart will find a safe and peaceful refuge
When answers aren't enough, He is there.

In life, some seasons are going to be identified by a question mark.  On this journey, until we finally make it home, we're going to have questions.  And when we have questions, we are going to want answers.

But when answers await, or when answers aren't enough...

There is Jesus.

Rest in that tonight.

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