“Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” (John 4:19-20)
Relate: Questions. Sometimes our questions might be big. Sometimes they might be serious. Other times they might be limited to a particular situation. They can even be whimsical. We all have them. When you see God, what will you want to ask Him. Some of the big questions on my list are things like, “Was giving us free will really worth all the pain and suffering we have inflicted on ourselves, others, and You?” “Are there alternate universes?” “Did you really have to create the Devil, or Hitler, or Pol Pot, or…” Another really good one someone else said they would ask: “Why prayer?” Why did God decide that He would primarily operate through our prayers. A question dovetailing off that, “Why does it seem that sometimes our prayers are answered the way we expect but other times it appears as though they are not answered at all.” Along those lines: Why did God choose to work through us or through His church? Why does He put such a premium on faith?
I remember asking my children’s church kids what they would ask and the very first response was, “Will poop smell in heaven?” Another kid right on the heels of that question asked, “Why did God create mosquitoes?” A thoughtful question asked later was, “Why did God put the tree right in the middle of the garden? Couldn’t He have made it a little harder for Adam and Eve to get to?” The poop one was silly but these other two were actually really good questions. A Bible related question I would probably like to ask has to do with Hezekiah. That king asked for a longer life and God gave him an extra fifteen years. But the two worst things that happened during Hezekiah’s reign happened during that extended time. Why didn’t God just let him die and spare Israel from both Manasseh and Babylon? The Samaritan woman had one of these burning questions. She wanted to know which mountain was the right place to worship God. As soon as she recognized that Jesus was a prophet from God, she popped her question. Some think she was just trying to evade the husbands issue. Maybe. I tend to think this was something that was truly weighing on her heart. How can she tell who was right and who was wrong?
So… if you suddenly found yourself face to face with God, what would you ask?
React: Jesus answered her question without really answering it. His response was, “pretty soon it won’t matter.” I have this sneaking suspicion that a lot of those questions that seem so important to us now will be met with the same response. I mean, honestly, I could probably sit down with a pen and paper and write out a list of twenty “burning” questions I have that will probably not be answered this side of heaven. But when I actually see my God face to face, will I even remember one of them? Will they matter at all? I will be too busy falling on my face, casting my crowns at His feet and crying out, “Holy, holy, holy are You, Lord God Almighty. You are great and awesome and Your mercy endures forever.” When I will truly am able to worship Him in spirit and truth time will have no meaning and I don’t think I will have any problem spending all eternity at His feet giving Him glory.
God, I can’t wait for the day when I see You face to face. I can’t wait until the day when I meet You revealed in all of Your glory. I can’t wait for the time when I will join men and women from every tribe and tongue on earth as we gather together to sing Your praise. In the interim, there are all kinds of questions I might have and I might hear. For those that I can seek out the answer, help me to do so for it brings no honor to You when we shut our brains off and ignore those doubts and questions. For those that simply cannot be answered this side of heaven, help us to trust more deeply that You are good and You have all things in control. For this time, on this mountain or that, in this church or that one we might gather to worship You, but one day that won’t matter at all. We will all gather before Your throne. Let that day come soon.