Is It Good to Question God?
We have shared a post before in which was argued that perhaps asking: "Why?" IS the faith question. (See Friday's Faith - The Cry of "Why?" IS the Cry of Faith ~with H. Norman Wright and Michael Card) found on our blog in the post on March 23, 2012.
Such a concept of allowing ourselves to cry out our questions to God is the very opposite of what we as grievers are so often chastised, in essence: "You shouldn't question God, because we won't know the "whys" this side of Heaven, so don't even go there with God; it's not ours to question."
We grapple with this conundrum in this way:
Perhaps it IS good to question God, not necessarily like Job who wanted to put God on trial…
Rather, we feel it's good to question God with, say, our honest hurts and feelings of betrayal, because now you've got a relationship going with Him, an honest relationship. When you feel hurt and betrayed by God, the emotional intensity of that angst says you have a relationship with God. If you didn't have a relationship with Him, you wouldn't feel hurt by Him.
Grief, Anxiety, Anger, Hurt - these are all what we call "negative" emotions, not negative because they are bad, but negative because they make you feel bad. Positive emotions are not positive because they are good, they are just positive because they make you feel good.
What we tell our clients is that emotions are not "bad" or "good" in the moral sense of the word, they just ARE; it is what you DO with them that is most important. (For another time, we can address the deep-seated, long-harbored negative feelings that can do damage if left to fester and even be acted out by taking out our negative emotions on others, etc.)
To deny having hurt, or anger, grief, or anxiety is a type of lying to oneself. God created us in His image, complete with many human emotions.
Jesus felt anxiety in the Garden of Gethsemane; He sweat drops of blood as He realized what He was facing with His upcoming death. Jesus felt hurt, and abandoned by God on the cross and even cried aloud, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" If even Jesus had these "negative" emotions, won't we as well?
God gave us our emotions so that we would have relational capacity with ourselves, with one another, and most importantly, with Him. Without emotions, we would not have relational capacity!
May our emotions be honest, and may they be cried out to the Living God who knows our questions even before we ask, but who longs for us to cry them out to Him so that He can come alongside in relationship with us, especially in heart-wrenching and soul-searching times such as these.
To deny our hurts is to deny our humanity, and it is to deny ourselves any genuine intimacy with our Lord.