“Oh God, I’ve been here before. You showed me truth to answer this question before. You’ve shown me strength to overcome this before. Yet, here I am again asking you the same question all over again. God, are you really this long-suffering? Can I ask you once again to tell me what I already know?”
Have you been there? Have you walked with God through a fire finding Him to be true and faithful at some point in your life only to later on become incredibly frustrated with yourself as you question Him about something you so solidly believed before? Have there been times in your life where you ran back to God asking Him to tell you once more what He had told you before? Is that okay?
In Matthew 3, John the Baptist baptizes Jesus and hears the voice of God proclaiming, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” In Matthew 11, we find this same John sitting in prison asking his disciples to go to this same Jesus and ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” What John had heard that day as he baptized Jesus had to ring in his ears as his mouth uttered the question, “Are you really who I think you are or should I look for another?” John’s circumstances had dramatically changed from the revered baptizer and the one who prepared the way for the Lord as he now sat in a dirty prison awaiting certain death. John the Baptist was questioning what he knew before. Time out, did you hear that? John the Baptist was questioning what he knew before. Although John had heard and believed truth, his human nature and circumstances caused him to ask Jesus what seems like a ridiculous question after literally hearing the voice of God. It was John’s very hands that had baptized the Son of Man.
Yet, God put this and many other examples of His children having crises of faith in His Bible. He graciously allows us to see David, Peter, and many more struggle in both belief and action after previously walking in amazing nearness to God. God did not have to include those faith failures in His Word; yet in His goodness He has encouraged me with them over and over. He has allowed me to see David going from wailing to dancing in the pages of Psalms, and with that He has encouraged my heart to run right back to Him with every doubt and question I have ever had. Nowhere in Scripture does God condemn His children as they run to Him with their questions. Our gracious God tells us we can indeed ask Him to once again remind us of what we knew before. He knows we need Him to tell us over and over again that He loves us, that He won’t ever leave us because He knows life and the circumstances we face will cause our human hearts to despair and to question what He has told us before.
Yes, I believe our loving, patient Father wants a real, authentic relationship with us; and just like I need my husband to tell me what I already know: to tell me He loves me, to tell me he will be here for me, God allows us to go right back to Him and ask Him to tell us over and over those same things. He knows we desperately need to hear from Him again and again. I am so thankful God really is that good, that loving and that long-suffering. I’m glad He really is Who He says He is. So go ahead, ask Him again to remind you of what He told you before. He will and you can walk on in that truth when life (and it will) gets hard, when you question and when you doubt. Not only does God not change with our circumstances or emotions – He can handle them as we bring them to Him. Don’t ever stop bringing them to Him. Don’t ever stop bringing them to Him.