asking the big questions

Sitting around the dinner table I like to ask my kids questions. Honestly, there are times I ask question just to stay the insanity of having 8 kids and 2 adults gathered together with all the varied silliness, noisemaking, arguing, and nonsense that goes on making it loud, loud, loud in the Dining Room. But mostly, I ask because I want to hear their hearts, push them to think more deeply and help them to see that to which they would otherwise be blind.

Questions can be small:

What did you have for lunch?

Questions can be silly:

What is something funny that happened today?

Questions can be deep:

What is something you struggled with today?

Questions can be big:

How did you see God at work?


As we sat around the table the other night reading our brief family devotion the focus was on prayer and Psalm 5:3.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly.

I was noting how “wait expectantly” stood out to me and reflecting on how often I want to “wait expectantly” for God’s yes instead of waiting expectantly knowing that God hears my prayers and will answer… even if that doesn’t mean yes.

Right then my eldest chimed in, in a way that doesn’t normally happen, with an openness that held my attention, with a sincerity that still rings in my mind today.

“I don’t like it when people reflect on God’s answers to prayer saying He will answer yes, no or not yet. Not all questions we ask God are yes or no questions.”

His reflection hit me hard.

Wasn’t that my own struggle with knowing the will of God?

[This devotion didn’t say that directly but I have heard it said that God answers our prayers with “yes,” “no,” or “wait.” Have you heard that before?]

Somewhere around the table it was said, maybe we are only supposed to ask God yes or no questions. Like playing 20 Questions with God to learn His will.

And the moment moved on.

But it hasn’t left my thoughts.

So give me yours.

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