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Thought for the week

During this difficult time of coping with the threatening corona virus many people might be questioning God. Why is this happening?  Why don’t you take it away if you really care about us? Is this your punishment on us for our sins? After all, we are not really abiding by your Commandments are we?

 

I too have questioned God and wondered if I had the right to do it. Then I thought of the Gospel and of all the questions people asked of Jesus and he never seemed to mind.  Sometimes the questions were genuine. John the Baptist asked this question from his prison cell, ‘Art thou he that should come or do we look for another?’ (Matthew 11)

 

The rich young man asked, ‘What must I do to inherit Eternal Life?’ Was it enough that he did keep the Commandments? (Matthew 19)

 

Other people were puzzled. Nicodemus came by night to question Jesus, puzzled as to his meaning of what it meant to be born again. (John3)

 

When Jesus placed emphasis on forgiveness Peter asked how many times he should forgive his brother. Would seven times suffice? (Matthew18)

 When Jesus said he was going away Thomas said, ‘We do not know where you are going, how can we know the way? (John 14)

 

Other questions were posed to trap Jesus. ‘On whose authority do you do all these things? Should we pay tribute to Caesar or not? (Mark12)

 

Jesus did not always give a straight yes or no answer. He often answered the question with another question, which made people realise they already knew the answer as it was buried under their fear and their doubt. The answer was often there in the parables he told, the analogies he drew, which made people think for themselves and reach their own conclusions. So yes, I do believe we can question God and find answers in the Gospels

 

I spent a whole morning reading these accounts and receiving some comfort in his answers. Sometimes the answers to their questions came slowly but there was at least one other occasion when the answer was immediate. The disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee when a violent storm hit threatening to sink   them. Jesus was fast asleep in the stern. In their terror they shouted angrily, ‘Do you not care that we perish?’ They were shocked when Jesus stood and rebuked the wind, ‘Peace, be still.’ (Mark 4) Jesus has authority over nature and we have been taught to trust him when we feel most afraid. Ask questions by all means but let’s be assured that he has power over all that threatens us.

                  ‘Trust him when dark thoughts assail you,

                    Trust him when your faith is small

                    Trust him when to simply trust him

                    Is the hardest thing of all.’