Asking the Question that Heals
By Terri Prahl
Key Verse: Jeremiah 2:6a, “They did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us safely out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness?”
I caught a glimpse of my scar above my dress as I squinted into the handheld mirror and sighed. After 30 years, you would think I was used to seeing its presence in the mirror.
My severe scoliosis, inherited from my mother, had been treated for seven years with body braces that left me uncomfortable and uncool to the world around me. Those moments of wondering where God was in my pain came flooding back as I glimpsed the scar tissue, a testament to the childhood ordeal.
During those years, hope felt elusive. I stopped asking God between recurring appointments to help me, guarding my heart from disappointment by refusing to anticipate good news. Months turned into years, and the waiting ended in a major spinal surgery – of which my body bears the mark today.
In hindsight, I lived in unnecessary angst through this hardship, as I drew away from God and stopped seeking Him like I once had. My questions, buried under a fake bravado, festered until they couldn’t be concealed from God any longer. I knew He knew, but I was too proud and afraid to ask. It was only when I began to process my heavy questions about where God was in all my pain and speak my deepest hurts aloud – whether to myself, a trusted adult, or in a journal – that I began to heal inwardly as my body healed outwardly.
A Lesson from Jeremiah
The prophet, Jeremiah, was tasked with calling the Israelites to repent of their prideful ways and blatant refusal to ask the simplest of questions. As I read Jeremiah 2, I was struck by God’s declaration in verse six that “they did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us safely out of Egypt?’”
God cared that His people hadn’t acknowledged His presence in their situation.
They had failed to recall His faithfulness.
The Israelites didn’t really want to know the answer God would provide.
After all they had witnessed firsthand, they still doubted His good plans for them.
In verse eight, God says, “The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD?’” He called the priests out for ignoring Him and wasting their time on worthless idols – little ‘g’ gods that spoke their own words back to them.
We too are often afraid to ask questions for fear it angers God for doubting His ability and presence in our lives. Yet, here in this passage, we see God scolds His people and Israel’s leaders for not seeking Him and asking where He was. God invites us to ask the questions that threaten our ability to see God for who He truly is. For in the sincere questions, we lead ourselves back to truth.
Where is the Lord?
This is the question that heals.
For in His presence, is the fullness of joy and always a way through.
The Jeremiah verse reminds me of myself – I was dusting in the kitchen and a tiny small plastic chacka that someone had given me of a bride and groom fell behind the stove – never to be seen at least by me again 🙂 My first thought was it’s a sign I will never be a bride. I realize now I should rely on God, not a chachka
Thank you for your vulnerabliity in sharing truth. Love this statement, “For in His presence, is the fullness of joy and always a way through.”
Thank you for reading and being a source of encouragement in my writing! I appreciate it. God’s faithful presence makes all things possible.
So true and a beautiful testimony of who God is to us, “God invites us to ask the questions that threaten our ability to see God for who He truly is. Where is the Lord? This is the question that heals. For in His presence, is the fullness of joy and always a way through.”
Thank you for reading and leaving this encouraging comment! God has healed my life in so many profound ways, and I am grateful!
It can be challenging to admit the hard questions for fear we’ll dislike the answers. I’m grateful God is patient with us.
Peace and grace,
Yes, God is so patient with us. Freedom and healing won’t come until we confess our fears and surrender our will for His. Whether we believe it at the time, the healing really is worth it — to know God more. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing this story! This was a beautiful reminder to bring all that we are thinking, feeling, and questioning to God!