Getting Past “Why, God?”

“We know only a portion of the truth … But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.” – 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 MSG

photo: Raye Wortel

photo: Raye Wortel

I’m so glad you’re here my friend, I’ve been waiting for you.

All week, a place in my heart has ached for you.

You know who you are. You’re the one who’s mastered outward bravery while your insides weep with pain.

You’re the one who stands busy at the kitchen sink quietly mingling tears with the dishwater.

You’re the one who lays lonely on your bed in the deep of night, crying into your pillow.

And you’re the one who pauses outside your door, gathering strength to face the growing hurt on the other side of the threshold.

And in the midst of soapy hands and tear-stained nights and desperate gatherings of strength, you utter one question. Over and over two words seep from your exhausted soul …

“Why, God?”

“Why did he break his promise? Why did she walk out of my life? Why did I get sick? Why did he die? Why did he hurt me?”

We pelt God with our “whys” trying to make sense of what we can’t understand. But like Job, our questions become a pathway for complaining.

“I am weary of living. Let me complain freely. I will speak in my sorrow and bitterness. I will say to God, ‘Don’t just condemn me—tell me why you are doing it.’” (Job 10:1-2 TLB)

Because God, I think you might be wrong on this one. If you would only tell me why then maybe I could accept it. I could go along with your plan – maybe even embrace it.

What we want is a valid reason for our suffering. We want what’s senseless to become sensible.

But if God is God does he really owe us an explanation? Would we understand even if he told us?

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)

So what are we to do?

Suddenly our “whys” seem useless. They show themselves for what they truly are: instruments that grow bitterness in our soul and create a “why me” lens by which we see everything around us.

Because honestly …

“Why, God?” really means why me.

Perhaps it’s time to let go of our whys. Perhaps it’s time to stop asking questions at all.

The reality is we don’t need an explanation; we need a Deliverer And we don’t need clarification; we need a Comforter. And we don’t need more information; we need a Savior.

But if we don’t stop asking why, our vision remains limited to what’s low in front of us rather than Who is high above us.

I would like to encourage you to trade your whys for dependency, intimacy and trust in your heavenly Father who cares for you. When you are tempted to ask God why, try these instead:

  • God, I don’t understand what’s going on, help me to trust in you.
  • God, you are a stronghold for the needy. A shelter in the storm and shade in the heat (Isaiah 25:4), help me to rest in you.
  • Lord, even though I can’t comprehend what’s happening, I choose you. You are at my right hand and I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:5,8b)
  • God, you are good and what you do is good (Psalm 119:68), show me your goodness today.
  • Holy Spirit, you are my Helper, teach me your ways.
  • Lord, you are close to the brokenhearted, deliver me from all my troubles. (Psalm 34:17-18)
  • God, I am afraid and dismayed, strengthen me and help me this day. (Isaiah 41:10)

May God give you rest, peace and even a bit of joy in your life today!


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