So far we’ve talked about the commas and the periods of truth — the fact that truth is both the final word (the period at the end of the sentence), and the ongoing, unfolding experience of it (the commas that keep the sentence going). However, in this use of the metaphor of punctuation we are leaving out perhaps the most important punctuation mark in the seeking and the knowing of God … the question mark.
Questions are essential to both the statements and the experience of God. I once counted over 250 question marks in the book of Job with almost a hundred of those being found in God’s “answer” to the questions Job and his friends raised. Yes, God answered their questions with more questions that left at least Job humbled and repentant.
Question marks show the limitations of our humanity. We don’t always get it; we can’t see the whole picture; we wonder about even the existence of God since no one we know has actually seen Him; and we wonder about what has happened to us. How can anyone explain what has happened to them in terms of an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving God without the use of questions? (And haven’t I just asked on there? …and there? …and so it goes.)
How can you believe without questions? You can’t. You can’t unless you live in a good deal of denial and you close your mind to the questions of others. Questions are important in the process of coming to know God, but they are also an important part of faith once you come to know Him. Yes, faith is full of question marks. It wouldn’t be real otherwise. There are times when we have much to say — when commas and periods abound — but then there are times when only question marks can contain the reality of our experience of God.
Question marks are what allow us to come alongside someone else and share in their journey. To throw someone a bunch of periods when all they have are questions is to not only be insensitive to their need, it is to miss the opportunity of discovery. It is denying someone else the process you most likely allowed yourself and indeed, you still have, were you being completely honest.
Questions are what keep us human. Questions are the essence of worship, where God Himself becomes our answer, and does that mean questions cease once you have Him? No. They may even increase, because once you have His heart, you care even more. Questions and God go hand in hand. Anyone who tells you otherwise is cutting off their arm.