ASKING THE QUESTION

There is nothing more difficult for those who seek after God than to endure a period where all spiritual things seem lifeless. In our journey we inevitably find ourselves in long periods of time where the things we believe, the zeal of our past, our experiences of God to that point seem quite dubitable because we can’t feel God’s presence, and it all feels dark. It can be time of such great confusion that it’s tempting to scrap the whole thing.

I’ve heard a thousand pat answers given to me by Christians about how to deal with those seasons of darkness. They say I should pray through it, read some book, serve the poor, go hear this teacher, discipline my way through it, have more faith…I’ve come to believe that most pat answers are worthless. In fact, what I really believe is so scary I can barely say it in a whisper: I don’t think there is an answer; there is just a deep, dark question that never goes away. I ask it everyday of my life and it goes something like this: “God, are you there…do you have me…can you help me with my life because sometimes I feel like I’m all alone?”

Many believe that a person of faith shouldn’t ask those sorts of questions. I think that any faith worth having forces you to ask those sorts of questions and if it doesn’t, maybe you should start over with a better one. Faith in God means to offer up your heart, your life to God. Faith, for the Christian, is not about what you believe, it’s about living your life in obedience to the ways of Jesus each day you are alive even though you can never stop asking the question.

About Tim Suttle

Tim Suttle is a pastor, writer, and musician. He is the author of several books: Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), and An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade Books, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals. Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. He has planted three successful churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.


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