The February Bible study offered to Women of the ELCA in Gather magazine is entitled “Tough Questions.” The author suggests that participants record their responses to this one question, “If you could ask any question of God, what would it be?” For this session, I was the chosen Bible study leader in my congregation’s unit, so I asked the above tough question of each woman in the circle groups at my church, the confirmation students and a variety of folks I met along the way. The responses have left me with a great respect for God’s wisdom in that we may never know the answers to the questions. The responses were so profound and thoughtful. Each showed a sense of maturity no matter the physical age, where the person might be in their lives, and yet not always so, exactly as the Bible study author suggests.
I believe the response to a lot of the tough questions is GRACE. Grace is pivotal is responding to our neighbor, our families and friends, our heartaches and our tough questions. Perhaps my likely response of grace is not the same as your response. Grace is a really tough concept to rely on when our very nature makes us judgmental, sinful and just not always very forgiving.
With permission, I am revealing to you some really tough questions. I’d love to hear the answers God would provide!
If You Could Ask Any Question of God, What Would It Be?
- Why do babies (children) get baby teeth when they all come out to make room for permanent ones?
- Am I going to heaven? Why do we have so many people wanting to fight & kill? Who made you?
- Why was I allowed to live so long? Did God make life on any other planets? What is your plan for me?
- Why does the world have so much cancer? Why do humans suffer from spiritual blindness?
- Why didn’t (insert child’s name here) have a good life like all the other girls her age?
- How can you be so patient with such a sinful world? How much has our sinfulness hurt you?
- How did you create earth, people, and other living things? Why are there skunks and mosquitoes?
- Why, in Moses time, were the altars to be so elaborately decorated?
- How can we help people see that we have so much and maybe they will share more?
- What are you going to use to decide who should sit on your right or left?
- Why do some people have more trials and tribulations than others?
- How is it up there? Why? How did ya’ think of making me the way I am?
- Why were the Gentiles not invited to be your chosen people until Jesus sacrifice?
- What do I have to do to be a better person? Will I be saved? How long will you postpone the end times?
- What happens to people who commit suicide?
- How are you going to make room for everyone who is in heaven?
Syd Brinkman, of Allison, Iowa, is serving a second term on the churchwide executive board of Women of the ELCA.