I lay sobbing on the floor in my bathroom. I left the phone in the other room. I wanted to be as far away from that conversation as possible.
The call went all wrong. I held my tongue for fear of hurting the other person, one I love very much. The things they said were thoughtless and unkind.
They even asked, “Are you Happy?”
I had had a rough doctor’s appointment that week; finances, as always, factored into every equation; and this person brought unwelcome information during the call. It could have gone better but the caller was on the offensive. I felt ill-equipped to manage this conversation. I was sad on the inside. I was undone. I could not muster the courage to fight back. I did not want to make things worse by being defensive or selfish. I held onto my peace as we made civil exchanges and hung up the phone.
I heaved. I hurt deep inside from being overwhelmed and misunderstood.
I remembered reading that the brain will work on the question it’s asked until it finds an answer.
“Are you happy?” Was the question that was posed, and my brain was desperately trying to answer it with the information it had. I did not feel happy. I was beaten down at an already low point in my life. I was not happy. The answers my brain came up with were ridiculously feeble ones. It was a losing battle if I stayed there.
Somewhere from deep inside, I heard a voice say, “It’s the wrong question.”
That was the right thing to think! I could see if I kept letting my brain try to answer the first question, I would be spending a lot of time on the bathroom floor feeling sorry for myself.
What was the right question to ask me right now?
I had run across some questions that God asked in Genesis chapter 3. I had studied it a couple of days earlier. I consoled my heart, telling it I would be right back. I left it on the floor as I ran with the hope to look at the passage again. The question I found, the very first question God asks in scripture, is immediately after the fall of man. I thought this is appropriate. I was at the door of sin: tempted to get angry, tempted to scream “it’s not fair!” Tempted to give into this full-on pity party.
The question God asked Adam and Eve was: “Where are you?” But in my King James Version, it says: Genesis 3:9b “Where art thou?”
Adam answered this query with “… I was afraid….” That does not sound like a good response to God’s question, but it was the one that God wanted from Adam. Could it be written in the book like this for an example from the first Adam to us? God obviously knew the geographical location of Adam hiding in a fig tree. He also knew his heart. He asked the question for Adam to say the answer out loud to find out his own emotional state, for him to know his heart in this serious matter.
“Where are you?” Now That was a question I could answer!
Where was I emotionally? I looked back at the door, where I left my phone. At one point during the conversation, I felt like I was young again and my mom was attacking and criticizing me. I wrote that down, then a flood of other feelings poured out. I had half a page of stuff written when I thought, There was another question or two asked by God after that one.
I read on in verse 11, “Who told thee…?”
So, I asked myself, Who told me this stuff?
That was when it happened! The seemingly solid surface of my predicament had a small fissure working across its smooth exterior. It grew in intensity, shaking. An eruption of rubble as if someone were jackhammering this stone. The pieces were falling away and springing in all directions in front of me. Wow! The explosion of the reality of my situation was enormous. I sat back against the bed and was just blown away by the counseling session I was having with God’s Word.
Who told me???
It was not the person I had been talking to! They love me and I love them. I could see clearly that it was the enemy. In an instant, everything changed! I mean everything. This was a mess with rubble everywhere, but it was not what it had appeared to be a few minutes ago. I no longer had self-pity, or anger for the person I love. They did not know they were being used to mess up my day. Most of my problems disappeared as I stared directly into the face of that Old Serpent and said “No! You will not get me today!” I could and did forgive this person right away. I had no reason to sit there in a pitiful state for any amount of time. I had a reason to keep going.
The thoughts that had me bound were loosed and I was free to love again. The solid granite wall I was facing had crumbled before me. The truth had set me free.
I glanced down at the open bible and saw the third question in verse 13.
“What is this that thou hast done?”
I took it to mean, “What are you going to do now with the information you have?”
I had a new resolve, I got up, dusted myself off, dried my eyes, and looked around with clear vision now. I grabbed up my heart and consoled it tenderly.
I approached the rest of the day with the knowledge that the enemy had plans to ruin that day, but I foiled him with the Word of God. I remembered that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.
John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am (Jesus) come that they might have life, and that they might l have it more abundantly.”
God’s plan is for my life to be abundant, not with phone calls that cause such caustic emotions. He does not give us solid walls that prevent us from moving forward. He asks us to forgive when people hurt us. He wants us to take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. So that we can manage this life and live a life of abundance and not desolation, and destitution.
I could go on! It wasn’t personal.
It was just an attack from the serpent of old times and his minions. If he could stop me, he could affect many other people with my bad attitude and drag down a whole slew of folk by cause and effect. I stopped him that day, with the help of God through His questions!
With this revelation of God’s questions having this kind of power, I thought maybe this was something I need to explore. Maybe this would help someone else as it helped me!
I have searched the word some and found there are many times that God asks questions. I believe they are there for more than the story.
If you go to therapy, the counselor will ask questions. If you go to a friend in a time of trouble, if they are a good friend, they will ask you questions instead of talking your ear off. That friend will help you find your answers to their questions. Just like a good parent, guardian, relative, or friend that takes the time to mentor you; they will ask the questions that will help you figure out what you want out of life; and what direction makes the most sense to you by their questions. I believe that God knew that we learn best by being asked questions that make us think; to delve deep into our own hearts and minds to come up with the solutions to the obstacles we face. I think He wants us to know where we are emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and even physically, to acknowledge that we need Him.
I’m on a journey to find the right questions to be asking myself and others to make responsible and wise decisions in this life. Come join me and let’s explore: “what does God mean when He asks a question?”