We’re getting close to Easter. Can you feel it? Do you feel more “ready” for it than you have before? Are you moving beyond the familiar to SEE Jesus in new ways, different places?
Take John 3:16, for example. It’s quoted, tattooed, worn on t-shirts, and seen at every major sporting event…but can you put it in context? Do you know any of the verses surrounding it?
I turned to chapter three of John’s gospel and read it in the message and a new phrase leaped off the page at me. As the conversation unfolds, Jesus tells Nicodemus what he must do, but Nicodemus is full of questions–very pharisee-like. Finally, Jesus tells him: Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. (John 3:11, The Message)
Ouch. This habit of questioning may have been used by the Pharisees a lot…but they don’t have a corner on the market. The longer I can keep someone engaged in dialog or conversation, the more I act like I “don’t get it”–the longer I have before I have to DO it. If you can’t recognize this in yourself, maybe you recall how your children could come up with a hundred questions to avoid doing their homework or cleaning their room.
Here’s a quote that might help us put this in perspective: “If you ask too many questions, you will find no answers, only more questions.” (Monica Fairview)
I know the danger here. Someone is going to think I’m saying, “Don’t ask questions.” I’m not. God is able to handle our questions and curiosity. But we know when we cross the line and venture into “Procrastination Land.” That’s what God’s message is for us: Don’t go there.
And we’re not procrastinating to avoid making our bed or finishing our math. No, the stakes are higher. We’re avoiding change. We’re clinging desperately to the familiar to keep from having to release control. Just like with Nicodemus, God is calling us to action or deeper surrender, growth or faith.
So today, let’s determine to leave the security of our questions and trust God to really love us. That is what it says in John 3:16, after all.
PRAYER: God, thank you for loving us…so much, that you gave. Help us to move beyond our questions and procrastination so that we too can give…give our lives to you more fully, deeply, completely. Amen.