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What Now?

Adair Creach

“Why me?” David Bailey walked out of the doctor’s office, scared, angry, and totally lost. The diagnosis: a Glioblastoma brain tumor that would ravage his body, leaving him only six months to live. “Why me?” seemed a pretty good question for him to ask. He was a Christian and had lived a faithful life. He was young; he had a family and a career. Why would God allow him to die so soon?

studio 046 2I can think of lots of questions that might come to David’s mind: “How could you do this to me?” “What did I do?” “Do you care?” Perhaps even, “Where are you, God?”

It didn’t take David long to redirect his line of questioning to something more productive and healing. He realized that knowing why didn’t make any difference. He had cancer, his time was probably limited, and he wanted it to be well spent. So his question changed. Instead of asking “Why me?” he chose to focus on “What now?”

“It’s a better, stronger, more powerful question—because it empowers you to act,” he told me. “There are always answers. We may not like them, but they are always there. You’ve just got to keep asking, ‘What now?’” Changing his question seemed natural and logical to David. Interpreting the answers was the hard part.

The answer David Bailey found was to quit his corporate job and to pursue his passion for music as a singer/songwriter. This “hippie folksinger” (as he likes to call himself) sings to God, about God, and for God. His message is hope, and it has changed not only his life but also the lives of his listeners. “Hope is everything,” he says. “Hope is the voice of love.”

PHILINQ 3God spoke to David in all kinds of ways, answering his questions through encounters with nature, other people, and through God’s word. Now he helps others try to answer their questions about faith: “How can I keep my faith alive when I’m in so much pain?” “What talents can I use to serve God?” “Where can I find hope when my life seems so bleak?” David’s music and poetry is healing, thoughtful, and uplifting.

Asking is important, but the key is patiently listening to hear what God has to say. God speaks in many ways, and hearing God’s answers may take a little time.

Is it OK to ask questions? Absolutely! David says that questions are vital to faith and that bringing your doubts to God is a good idea. In his words, “faith is impossible without doubt.”

 

DIG DEEPER

When have you asked God questions? Did your questions come from frustration, wonder, confusion, or something else? Were they answered? Listen to David Bailey’s song, “Be Still” from the CD Faith: The Anthology (available online and on iTunes). Think about a time when you felt confused about your faith. Did God answer your questions as the song describes? Write about your thoughts and feelings when you felt lost or when you questioned God. Remember David’s discovery: Growing in faith is impossible without exploring your doubts and questions.

God probably asks why as often as we do. God also asks, What are you doing? What were you thinking? What have I done? Read about situations that led God to ask why?

 

[NOTE: After defying the odds for 14 years, David M. Bailey’s fight against Glioblastoma ended on October 2, 2010.]

Adair Creach , a former devozine Teen Advisory Board member from Sewickley, Pennsylvania, finds inspiration in David’s life and in his music.

—from  devozine (July/August 2009). Copyright © 2009 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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