DayBreaks for 12/15/17: Getting the Question Right
From the DayBreaks archive, December 2007:
Do you know people who want to ask you a question, but they dance around the real issue? They never just come right out and ask what they want to know! And what is even more frustrating to me is when I ask a question and get an answer to a question I didn’t even ask! Perhaps that’s why politics revolts me so. It seems that you can’t get a straight answer out of nearly any politician these days. Everything is carefully crafted to try to appease as many special interests as possible in the hopes of raising money and getting elected, and even worse, to mislead the public about the real effects of proposed legislation. Rare is the politician who will answer a question straight-forwardly about their personal convictions about topics. Instead, they’ll pontificate in politically correct ways until the questioner forgets what question they even asked!
Asking the right question is an art. No one, of course, does it as well as God. In his book, Hearing God, Dallas Willard reflects on the scene in the garden after Adam had sinned. “When God came to Adam after he had sinned, he did not ask, ‘Adam, where is God?’, but ‘Adam, where are you?’ We must purposefully, humbly and intelligently cultivate the ability to listen and see what is happening in our own souls and to recognize therein the movements of God.” (Hearing God, pg. 214)
God didn’t come to the garden to lay a guilt trip on Adam. He came to begin the process of restoration. The first step in that process is always an honest questioning of ourselves to ascertain where we are. Adam may have been tempted to think that because of his sin that God would not return again to the garden, or if He did, Adam didn’t want to be found. It’s understandable – I’ve felt those things myself many times. But the question God asks is intended to get Adam into the soul-searching mode. It also revealed to Adam that God had not left in disgust or rage. God came back to the garden and was concerned about Adam and where he was. It wasn’t a question about Adam’s physical location, but of his heart.
When you’re thinking that God isn’t around these days because of what you’ve done, go back and let God ask you the same question He asked Adam, “Where are YOU?”
PRAYER: Thank You for not abandoning us in the garden or in the wilderness of our sinful lives. Thank You for Your great concern for us. Teach us to search our souls in accordance with Your Word! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.