I’ve never been one to ask tough questions. Sometimes it’s simply because I’m not a critical thinker by nature, and my inclination isn’t to probe. Other times, though, I don’t ask because I’m afraid to know the answer.
As I witness more and more brokenness in and around me, I haven’t been able to suppress my confusion. “What in the world is happening?” slips out of my mouth quite frequently these days. And when I really can’t resist, I mull on the inevitable “Why?”
I vividly remember the first time I felt like it was okay, maybe even good, to ask hard questions. I sat at my computer and watched David Platt preach through the book of Habakkuk. One sentence in particular felt like the invitation I didn’t realize I was waiting for. I paused and rewound the video to hear him say it again. “Deep, honest questions lead to deep, honest praise.”
If I wanted my worship to increase in depth and authenticity, I couldn’t avoid wrestling with my doubts forever. I had to face them head-on – a lesson I’m still learning.
As grace nudges me deeper, I’m grateful for the example of those who are willing to tell their own stories of doubt and struggle. In her book Anchored, Kayla Aimee shares the ups and downs of spending 156 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) after her daughter was born at just twenty-four weeks gestation. Her story is heartbreaking and beautiful, but it ends in praise.
“I tell this story,” explained Aimee, “because it is meant for more than just us; it is a resting place for anyone who is wondering where God is in their hurt. Because when we are asking that question is when we have the greatest opportunity to find Him.”
Questions aren’t necessarily faith’s enemy; in fact, they are often its catalyst.
When the storms come, my tendency is to jump ship. What if everything I believed is a lie? What if this is the one time God got it wrong? What if God doesn’t care as much as I thought He did? Scared to ride it out, I dive into the sea in a futile effort to survive on my own. I’d rather drown than face the disappointment of an anchor that doesn’t hold. So I don’t give it a chance.
Staying in the boat even when the waters are rough stretches our faith and forces us to confront our deepest concerns. If we refuse to bail even when we’re terrified, we’ll see firsthand that our faith is unsinkable as long as its Object is also the anchor of our souls. Like the prophet Habakkuk and Kayla Aimee, we too will come out of the storm with a song.
Many, many followers of Christ have braved the waves already, and not one of them has been failed by a faulty anchor. But it’s not enough to hear their stories; we have to follow them into the boat. Ask our own questions. Work through our own doubts. Offer our own praise.
In Anchored Kayla Aimee pulls back the curtain and lets readers catch a glimpse of her pain and the worship that arose from it. Although her situation was unique, her conclusion applies to all believers. “We have this Hope as an anchor for our souls”. And that anchor is the only one that always holds.
B&H Publishing Group provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I did not receive additional compensation for this post.