Last week at VBS, our children came up with a list of questions that they wanted to ask God. They wrote these down on large, red cardboard question marks, and then the question marks were placed side by side to create large, red hearts. This was to remind the children of that day’s Bible theme: even when you don’t understand, Jesus loves you!
Today, I read through those questions and found some of them to be very profound. In this space, I will do my best to answer a few questions from my perspective. What do you think? Can these questions spark conversations around your dinner table, church pew, or Sunday school classroom?
How did God make himself?
God was never created; God has always existed, from before the beginning of time. Jesus Christ is “the image of the invisible God,” and “by him all things were created” (Colossians 1:15-16). The Spirit of God was present before the universe began (Genesis 1:2). It’s hard to understand, but God simply is. There never was a time when God was not around!
What happens to animals when they die?
I wonder this myself. Tara and I had a dog named Lindy who died a year ago, and we miss her very much. Where is Lindy now? Sometimes we say that people who believe in Jesus go straight to heaven when they die. Maybe this happens with animals, too. (But remember, the Bible teaches that Jesus will return to earth at the end of time, and then all Christians will be raised from the dead to live with him forever (1 Corinthians 15).) Will our pets be waiting for us in heaven? I sure hope so!
Why do people get in car accidents?
This is a very powerful question, and I don’t have a good answer for it. I do not believe that car accidents are “supposed” to happen, as if they are somehow in God’s plan – especially when someone dies in the accident. Tragedies happen to all different kinds of people, and often without reason. While I do not know why accidents happen, I do know that God provides comfort to all who are suffering (2 Corinthians 1:1-11). And maybe that’s enough.
Do you [God] like naptime?
Absolutely, God loves to rest! After God created the universe, he took a whole day off (Genesis 2:1-3). Sometimes it’s not fun for a kid to take a nap, but trust me, napping is an acquired taste. But rest assured: God never falls asleep on the job of being our God and watching out for our needs (Psalm 121).
Why does my dad need to work on the house?
(I wish I knew more about this question, because it almost seems to come from a painful or lonely place.) Dads need to work on houses because they love their children. One of a parent’s many jobs is to make sure his or her children are safe, warm, and protected from bad weather. When your dad works on the house, you can remember that God the Father is watching over you as well (Psalm 127:1).
Why do people smoke?
Smoking releases very addictive chemicals into the brain. People who smoke usually know that smoking is very bad for you, because it leads to deadly forms of cancer. But people who smoke have a very hard time quitting, because of those addictive chemicals. The Bible does not address smoking directly, but it does teach that we should honor God with how we use our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Why do teenagers sometimes get mad at grown-ups?
It is hard to be a teenager! During your teenage years, you change in many ways. Your body, mind, and emotions develop very rapidly – but not always at the same rate. Sometimes, teenagers feel grown up but still have to listen to their parents. Sometimes, they feel mad about something at school or involving their friends, and that anger carries over into relationships with adults. Sometimes, teenagers don’t understand what they are feeling at all. But trust me, eventually those feelings of anger will go away as the teenagers become grown-ups themselves.
Why does my brother pick on me?
Brothers (and sisters) pick on their siblings for many reasons. Maybe they want to feel better about themselves, or maybe they are upset because others picked on them. They may not realize how much it hurts you when they pick on you. My advice is to follow the Golden Rule, and to remind your brother (gently) of the Golden Rule: “Do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12 NIV).
Will the Cleveland Indians win the World Series again in Pastor David’s lifetime?
Yes, they will! (Hebrews 11:1)