Why Ask Why?
It’s hard to watch people you love go through trials in their lives. Sometimes I think it’s less trying to be one going through the trial than to be the one watching someone go through the trial. (for instance, I’d rather be the one in the operating room than to be the one in the waiting room – but that’s just me) Whether the trial is something beyond their control or it’s brought on by a pattern of chosen behavior, the question inevitably arises: ‘Why?’
Why is God allowing this to happen? Why do they keep doing what they’re doing? Why don’t they stop doing that? Why don’t they start doing this? Why can’t they see what God is trying to teach them? Why?…Why?…Why? You can’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure out ‘Why’. But here’s the deal: Maybe the ‘Why’ is not ours to know. And here is why I say that:
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Romans 11:33-34 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
Another interesting read is Job 38-39 where God answers Jobs questioning with thought provoking questions of His own. A barrage of questions designed to give Job (and us) food for thought. In Job 40:1, God asks the question, “Shall the fault finder contend with the Almighty?” Who are we to question the God who planned, executed, and sustains all of creation? He gave us an entire book that recounts His faithfulness throughout the ages. We can look back on our own lives and see His faithfulness. Now that doesn’t mean He won’t allow trials and difficulties along the way. Those are means through which He teaches us lessons and shapes us to live a life more fully conformed to His will for us. (A Bible study I once went through encouraged us to pray that we learn the lesson quickly and incorporate it into our lives therefore fulfilling the need for that particular trial – easier said than done, but good advice nonetheless.) So, as I watch people I love go through their trials (or even as I go through my own) I need to really ground myself in a faith that trusts God and His plan for our lives and pray for understanding – if that’s part of the plan- or peace if understanding is not part of the plan. Spending time in His Word, in worship, in prayer, and in fellowship with others who are solidly grounded in their faith are all ways to find strength in your own trials or strength to support others through their trials. Trusting God and His plan for my life (and those I love) helps reduce the amount of ‘Whys’ (but maybe not eliminate…I’m still human 😊 )
Dawn Lubker, Ministry Assistant