Why is there sickness, sorrow and suffering? Why do the evil prosper? Why did my loved one have to die? Why God? Why?
I’ve never known how to answer these questions because I sometimes asked them myself. A lot of what I see doesn’t make sense.
I looked to the bible for answers. In Job 31, Job goes on and on about all the good things he has done and he’s questioning the Almighty why all the horrible things that happened to him happened.
God doesn’t answer Job’s “why?” In fact, in the latter chapters of Job, God is angry with Job. This is just a couple sentences of his response to Job.
Job 40: 1-2 The LORD answered Job and said: You critic – will you quarrel with the Almighty? Anyone who corrects God will have to answer for it.
Ooops. You stepped over the line Job.
After God responds to Job, Job humbles himself. The LORD then restored Job’s prosperity and took away his suffering. But…. God never answered the why question.
The writer of Psalm 10 starts out with a couple of questions. Many prophets asked God “why?” God often responds to them, usually by helping them or getting angry at them (depending on the persons attitude and motives), but he doesn’t usually answer the why.
When I don’t understand someone’s actions, I try to put myself in their shoes to see where they’re coming from.
Well, God’s shoes are pretty big and I felt tiny in there, but this is where my thinking went.
God is my father. I am his child. How do I relate to my children when they question me with why?
When I was young, it annoyed me when I heard parents get irritated with their children and shout “Because I said so!”
What kind of answer is that? They just want to know why. I decided that when I had kids, I would sit down calmly with them and explain things to them, then they would understand and all would be well.
Eventually I became a parent and that innocent, cute bundle of joy became a preschooler. I remember (because it happened on a regular basis) he would ask me something like “can we go to the park?” I would explain why we couldn’t go that day. That was never good enough. He would have a solution to my answer. I would explain again and he would counter me on that. My first child was like me and loved to ask why. He wouldn’t quit.
To my surprise, I found myself one day shouting, “Because I said so!”
E-gads! I had become what I said I never would! I was beginning to see why God doesn’t always answer the why. Why questions are annoying because someone you’re taking care of is questioning you, doubting you and thinking they know better than you. Seriously? A three-year-old? That’s kind of what it’s like when we (mere humans) are questioning GOD.
So, how could I become better at accepting things from God that I didn’t understand without questioning him and asking why?
The answer to that came from my two sons. It’s always amazed me how forgiving and trusting the very young are. I remember having to hold my three-month old still while the doctor gave him a shot. The shocked look on his face when he felt the jab and his sobs just destroyed me. I picked him up and held him and he clung to me. Instantly, he had forgiven me. I felt horrid, but it was something I had to do.
He used to get ear infections all the time when he was little. He would fight me like crazy when I tried to give him his medicine. He hated it, but he needed that medicine. He didn’t understand why I was forcing him to take that horrible tasting stuff. He didn’t know how to talk yet so he couldn’t ask me why, but the hurt and the “why” was in his eyes.
What I’m getting at is we can learn from the children and let them lead us. They forgive instantly and even when it seems like we’re hurting them; they still love us and they cling to us while they’re sobbing. Can we do that? Can we trust our heavenly Father the way our children trust us?
It’s human nature to get angry. Many people shake their fists at God because they don’t know God’s plan. They don’t like the things that are going on, so they judge God and turn their back on him.
We may never know the “whys” while we’re here on earth. God is our Father and he is a good and loving father. Sometimes he has to discipline and teach us. Sometimes he has to let us fall flat on our face. Sometimes, because God gives us free will, others will do things that hurt us. We just have to trust that he has a plan and he is in control. He works everything that happens to us for our good.
Thank you God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Help me to always trust in you, even when things don’t make sense.
Proverbs 3: 11-12 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.