Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:12-13 (NIV)
I feel like a 24/7 help desk with a ringtone of “mom, mom, mom.” The barrage of questions comes at every age from preschool through the teen years. Inquiries may be humorous, puzzling, or just plain irritating. Why do they ask a question I’ve already answered? Why do they ask when they know my response? Why do they ask then not follow my directions?
In my more patient moments, God flashes images in my mind of questions I’ve asked Him. That’s when I realize this is more than questions and answers. It’s relationship. It’s confirming who they are in relationship with me and their significance in our family.
The questions are often, “can I have what I want?” They usually know the answer because they know me. But what fun it is to lavish my love on them by giving them more than they ask.
Other times they ask questions beyond their personal desires, to issues of the heart. I love these moments. It may last a few seconds or be an ongoing conversation over days or weeks. This is when I get to pour my heart into theirs.
I’m convinced that God loves our questions. He is always patient and longs to be in conversation with us because the conversation is so much more than questions and answers.
Whether our prayers are asking when we already know the answer, a request when God already knows what we want, or a life perspective in development; I imagine God delights in pouring His heart into ours. My kids know that throwing a tantrum gets them nothing. Rending their hearts opens a floodgate of grace and compassion. They may not hear exactly what they want or receive everything they ask for, but they will receive my heart.
Do you want God’s heart? Go ahead. Pray. Ask Him anything. Then open your heart and receive His.