Keep The Questions Coming

Dan Lovaglia, Camp Pastor, Camp Paradise | April 8, 2024

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?
But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.
Psalm 13:1-2, 5-6

Will we ever get enough rain? This is not a dire question for many, but farmers depend on precipitation. And subsequently, the rest of us do too. If crops don’t grow, the food supply chain suffers. If water levels plummet, hydro power shuts down. Droughts can be deadly in more ways than one.

Nearly 93 percent of Illinois experienced drought in 2023. That’s bad, but I can’t fathom what my friends in Zambia, Africa are going through this year. It has been the driest February in 40 years. The rainy season hardly happened, so almost half of the country’s maize crops were lost. Zambia, along with much of southern Africa, know full well that famine is on the horizon. Limited water. Limited food. Limited power. Limited jobs. Limited income. As the devastating list goes on and on, I imagine their doubtful questions keep coming.

God, where are you? Why won’t you send rain? Do you even care? How will we survive? Who will help us if you don’t show up? How can I go through this again?

Like David in Psalm 13:1-2, we can’t help but cry out to the Lord when our inner and outer world is falling apart. Drought and doubt go hand in hand, yet it’s hard for our hearts to handle it. We wonder if our heavenly Father is paying attention, aware of our need, and willing to intervene. We gasp for air between waves of emotion, only to hear nothing, no apparent signs of rescue or hope. And so, we keep firing off questions, waiting for answers, and wondering despite our doubt.

Honestly, the Lord wants us to keep the questions coming during seasons of drought and doubt. He can take it, especially since He always sends rain eventually. Interrogation doesn’t change Yahweh (God); it changes us. Questions give voice to our spectrum of emotions, test our beliefs and convictions, soften our grip on control, and reposition our dependence on God.

If I have learned anything from my brothers and sisters in Africa, it’s that God invites us to join Him in the cycle of seasons. He is there with us in rain and drought, in fear and doubt. When we keep the questions coming, a song will inevitably surface, one that affirms and strengthens our trust in the Lord. Our drought and doubt may not fully subside, but remembering God’s faithfulness can sustain us.

Next Steps

  • Are you experiencing spiritual drought or doubt? Pepper God with questions, read Psalm 136, and recount God’s loving faithfulness in your life.
  • Willow Creek’s Celebration of Hope kicks off this Sunday, April 14! Journey with our partners in Zambia and other countries for three weeks as we serve God together globally through the local church.