In my devotion time this morning, one of the questions presented was:
“Can you think of a time when you asked: ‘If God loves me, then why…?’ If so, what happened that led you to ask that question?”
As I reflected and journaled a bit on this topic, I came to realize that it seems that as Christians we’re often told we can’t ask why. Oh most of the time people don’t flat out say that but in their responses to our “whys” we get that idea.
We ask, “Why did that person have to die?!?”
And their response completely directs our thoughts elsewhere, “Don’t think about that, just know they’re in a better place.”
We ask, “Why do I keep getting hurt in that situation?”
And our minds tell us to stop asking that, we must deserve it, right?
We ask, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
And we’re told (in hopefully not so blunt terms), “Get over it, that’s just life.”
I’m not saying that it’s not helpful to move beyond why. For example, in the book Torn it talks about how in our “why”s the biggest question we really need to be asking ask is “who”… Who will be there while my world is falling to pieces? Because most of the time we’re asking “why?” we’re broken and even if we got the answer to the why, it still wouldn’t take the pain away. But if we are asking “Who” then God will always be there and that brings comfort in the pain.
I absolutely LOVE this way of thinking and have found it very useful. I’m not saying that it’s not good to shift focus off the “why”. However, I do think we sometimes do that too quickly and in doing so we think that the “why” itself is bad or wrong. We feel like we “shouldn’t” ask why.
However, I contend that we must start with the “why” because most of the time that’s where our hearts are at in those “why” situations. God desires us to be open and honest in our relationship with him and if we just ignore the whys in life, we ignore our truest feelings in those moments. In doing so, we end up putting up walls to keep God out of that part of our life. It keeps God out of our pain which is exactly where we need him most.
As long as we’re turning to God with our whys, with our anger, with our frustration, with our hurt, it’s okay and actually really good for us. It’s GOOD to ask the whys…
What could be better than seeking truth from Truth Himself?
And slowly, but surely, HE will change our prayers reminding us that the why doesn’t matter, and to just rest in him.
“… Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7