How long do we wait for answers to hard questions?

Maybe the hard questions are more important than the answers they’ll bring. Maybe?

I’m not talking about answers to routine questions like:

  • how many feet are in a yard?
  • is there an easy way to… ?
  • where is… ?
  • who can… ?
  • when did… ?


I’m referring to those questions which don’t appear to have answers.

At least right now.

Do unanswered questions make you uncomfortable?

For me, there are unanswered questions that cause what Rob and I call a “brain itch”. But they’re usually the questions that good ‘ole Google can answer.

It might be when we’re reading and come across a new word – Rob will ask me if I know what that word means, and if I can’t answer him, I must… must… MUST look it up. Can’t sleep unless I know.


I’m guessing we all have discomfort when we don’t have answers to the easy questions.


How about the hard questions?

How much discomfort

does a hard question


How long do we wait for answers to hard questions?


Those questions with no apparent answer… or at least, no good answer – how long do we “stew” over those questions?

Could there be a better way of dealing with the un-answerable questions?

(in comparison to stewing, agonizing, dwelling, etc. etc. etc. ?)

What to do with hard questions?

Wait for answers to hard questions.

I came across this quote by the poet/writer Rainer Maria Rilke,

and it hit me so hard that I had to handwrite it in my commonplace journal:

Be patient
toward all that is unsolved in your heart
and try to love the questions themselves,
like locked rooms
and like books
that are now written in a very foreign tongue.

Do not now seek the answers,
which cannot be given you
because you would not be able to live them.

And the point is, to live everything.

Live the questions now.
Perhaps you will then gradually,
without noticing it,
live along some distant day
into the answer.”

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

from his book “Letters to a young Poet
ps – formatting is mine

But why this preoccupation with questions?

Why am I noticing and even writing about these unanswered hard questions?

Be patient with hard questions while you wait.

I have some hard questions in my life.

And I’m guessing you do too.

We all do.

Our hard questions may not have obvious answers – or at least answers that would bring us peace right now.

In fact, I believe there are answers to questions that we won’t be able to comprehend for years, decades, and maybe even for the rest of our lives. We might not have an answer to those hard questions until we reach eternity.


What do we do with those hard questions?

We can live with the questions while waiting for the answers…

(not agonize, or fret, or worry, struggle, lament over, wrestle… )


Love those questions.

Love? Yes. Lovingly live alongside those hard questions as we grow…

Live alongside the hard questions.


Some patience with ourselves and those questions.

Not every question has an easy answer.

Perhaps it’ll take time to realize what it all really means.

Be kind to yourself.

Maybe we all need time to grow


for those answers to hard questions…

Download your own copy of this poem – click HERE

Here’s another article if you want to read more… Beautiful Destinations

And a Scripture verse that I feel is relevant…

…suffering produces perseverance;

perseverance, character;

and character, hope.

Romans 5:3,4