Christmasing In Peace: Quietly Listening To The Right Questions

The sounds of Christmas that resonate their ring of expectation can so easily rob us of the very peace of which we sing. It's a time saturated with emotions that flow fast and memories that run rapid. Often the moments we anticipate most comfort us least. Sometimes even the best servings of joy end up tasting more bitter than sweet because of the memory of a painful event invading our mind or the glaring absence of a loved one piercing us with sorrow. 

It's in the midst of bright days of celebration that we often process darkness most. Even as we outwardly respond in good cheer, our desire to make sense of this fallen world can incite the firing of a million questions within our heart and mind. In futility we can find ourselves begging God for answers, even as we declare the truth that His thoughts and ways are not our own (Isa 55:8) and that His sovereign judgments are beyond our understanding (Rom 11:33).

God, why did you allow this? Why did you let them die? Why are they rejecting truth? Why don't you open their eyes? Why are they rejecting me? How can they get away with this? How could you let them harm me? Why are so many innocent people suffering? Why don't you stop this evil? God, when are you going to bring healing? 

When the deafening wind of these inquiries overwhelm my heart, I've learned that the only way to find rest for my soul is to stop and listen to the voice of my Father. And in the stillness, that is where I discover that He is quietly asking me questions. And as I look in His glorious face and answer each one with grace-wrought confidence through tears of sorrow that I didn't trust Him, I find rest for my soul.

Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: ''Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me." (Job 38)  

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?...  Have you ever given orders to the morning or shown the dawn its place?...  Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?...  Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?...  Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail?...  Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain and a path for the thunderstorm to water a land where no one lives?...  From whose womb comes the ice?...  Who gives birth to the frost when the waters become hard as stone?...  Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loosen Orion’s belt?...  Can you raise your voice to the clouds?...  Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you?...  Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?...  Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens when the dust becomes hard and the clods of earth stick together?... Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food? 

YOU are the answer, Lord. YOU have all the power. YOU have all the glory. And because of Christ, YOU are our hope.