There are so many questions swirling mankind. I was about to write "today," but the truth is, we have always been plagued by these questions...clear back to the first time we questioned God's goodness and failed in our answer. Eve asked the question - is what God said really good? Since the moment she answered "no," we have been consumed with the struggle of this issue. Is it ok to do this? Is it all right to do that? What does God say about this? What does God say about that? Can I trust a God that doesn't appear to care? Where was God when...you can fill in that blank.
Some have answered these questions by deciding there is no God at all. Some have declared that if there is a God, He obviously doesn't care about us. Some have decided to take the things He has said and interpret them in their own way. Others cling to the things God says, but they are like the clanging cymbals of 1 Corinthians 13...they do so without love.
As is so often the case...we are asking all the wrong questions.
Wrong questions lead to wrong answers. If I ask "why does 2+2=5?" it doesn't matter what answer I come up with. I can rationalize, I can adjust numbers, I can turn my back on the theory of mathematics all together, but the truth is, I will never arrive at the right answer because I am asking a wrong question. The only right answer to that question is "it doesn't." To answer "it doesn't," however, completely changes the nature of the discussion. It sets us on an entirely different path.
We need a different path.
We need to stop asking what is permissible, what is not, is there a God, how could a love God do whatever, and come back to the question that is the crux of mankind:
"Who do you say that I am?"
Jesus asked Peter this question, and Peter answered "You are the Christ." That was the right question and the right answer. If you answer that Jesus is the Christ, you can start to put all the other pieces in place. I once had a friend who went from being a vocal atheist to being a sold-out believer in Christ in a matter of moments. At his baptism, he said "I can't say life is easier, but it is a whole lot clearer." He was beginning to see that once you ask the right question and arrive at the right answer, all the other pieces begin to fall into place.
This morning, as I was in prayer, I was bringing to God a number of things that are troubling me - issues of the culture in which I live, issues in the Church, friends of mine making poor choices, struggles and needs of our own family. After praying through these things for around an hour, I turned on some worship music and began to worship Him. As I worshiped, I was brought to a place of understanding that all these things fade away in the light of Who He Is, and that if I start there, I can have the proper perspective that He is greater than all these things. His power, His might, and His glory in so much more than all these things.
So I am saying don't pray? Absolutely not. I am saying that when I come back to the crucial question - Who do I say He is - and answer - He is the CHRIST - that suddenly all these huge things don't seem so huge. I am then caught up in who He is instead of how weak I am, and my life is infused with power as I am caught up in the Great Love Story that is our life in Christ. In THAT place, my prayers go from being strained pleas for help to powerful declarations that God IS who He says HE is and He will DO what He says HE will do. When I take the time to stop and declare who Christ truly is, there is power in my life, the power of Holy Spirit, which Christ Himself promised His believers.
"Who do you say that I am, Sara?"
"You are the Christ, Jesus the Son of the Living God."
And all life starts from there...