If I could go back in my life and change anything, I think I would spend a lot more time asking questions and a lot less trying to have all the answers. Like most people, many of the roles I had in life seemed to demand of me to have the answers. As a student, a bookkeeper, parent, tutor, women’s ministry leader, Bible teacher, people in my life were looking for answers and I decided it was my responsibility to have them.
My motives were pure, at least most of the time. I really wanted to help. I know what it feels like to struggle through questions, especially the deep ones – questions about death, healing, the meaning of life, roles, destiny. Plain and simple, I hated to see people struggle or suffer. Whatever role I had, I made it a point of trying to have the answer.
I began to see the value of questions while co-leading a Bible study on Genesis. In chapter 3 alone, I saw how many times God Himself asked questions instead just giving answers.
- Where are you? (To Adam and Eve who were hiding from God after eating the forbidden fruit).
- Who told you that you were naked?
- What is this you have done?
I don’t know about you, but it intrigued me that the God of the Universe would be in need of any information. Doesn’t He know all things? And then I started to see that God didn’t need the answers, He was pursuing relationship with Adam and Eve, a relationship that they were hiding from because of their sin. God wanted to be in conversation with those two people He loved deeply.
When we ask questions, we are inviting people into a conversation. Questions tell another person that you care about what they think, what they feel, and who they are. When people asked me questions, deep questions, I thought they only wanted answers, but what they really want is relationship, sometimes with me and sometimes with someone greater. Yes, they truly may want the answer, but behind it all, behind many question is a desire for relationship.
And what if that greater relationship is with the Answer, capital A. All along I was desperately trying to give people answers, thinking they would be satisfied once they found them. But more questions come.
So, now I am asking more questions because I want relationship with others. I want to hear their heart and connect more deeply. And when they ask me questions, I accept their invitation to relationship and we have a conversation, the give and take kind, giving my thoughts and asking theirs. The pressure’s off. I don’t have to have all the answers. I know the Answer. He lives in me, and I know He is pursuing relationship with everyone.
He is enough. He is the answer.