By Lynn Jones
A lot of people travel this time of the year. They go on all kinds of exciting trips, but let me tell you the greatest journey that anyone can ever take. It is the journey from a question mark to an exclamation point.
Job suffered terribly. In the space of just a few hours, he lost his possessions, his family, and his health. Such overwhelming losses produced dozens of questions. Why has this happened to me? Where is justice in the world? And, most perplexing of all, where is God?
After he had demanded that God make an appearance, God did so. Coming in the midst of the storm, God appeared to Job with some questions of His own. At the end of this encounter, Job said, “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.” He had made the journey from a question mark to an exclamation point.
Peter and the other disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee when they were overtaken by a fierce storm. Then Jesus came and stilled the storm. They asked, “What kind of man is this?”
Later, Jesus asked those disciples to tell Him who He was. Peter declared, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!” He had moved from a question mark to an exclamation point.
No disciple was more tormented by his doubts and questions than Thomas. When the crucifixion came, he was overwhelmed by more questions than he could possibly answer. So great was the burden of his unanswered questions that he withdrew from the other disciples and missed the first appearance by the resurrected Christ to the other disciples.
One week later, Christ appeared to the other disciples and to Thomas. When Christ came, Thomas dropped his questions. Instead, he uttered the greatest confession of faith found in the gospels. He said, “My Lord and my God!” He had made the journey from a question mark to an exclamation point.
Questions are inevitable. In fact, they are sometimes helpful. But you cannot build your life on a question mark.
It was said of one preacher that he found it difficult to be definite about anything. When he got up to preach, he gave his people the benefit of his doubts, which was no benefit at all.
One poet put it like this: “I am not sure the earth is round/ Nor that the sky is really blue./ The tale of why the apples fall/ May or may not be true./I do not know what makes the tides/ Nor what tomorrow’s world may do,/ But I have certainty enough, O Lord,/ For I am sure of you.”
You are invited to embrace Him by faith and trust. As your faith grows and deepens, it will help you make life’s greatest journey—the journey from a question mark to an exclamation point!
Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.