The Trouble With "Why"
“In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.” –Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
If you are like me or just plain human, you have the tendency to ask “why.” “Why did I get sick? Why did my boyfriend or husband leave me? Why do I never have any money? Why am I alone? Why God? Why?” I believe there is nothing wrong with asking the question of “why,” but there needs to be a limit. That question should not take over your mind and heart. The truth is no matter how many times or different ways we ask the question, we may not receive the answer. It is not that God wants to make us suffer, but quite the opposite He wants us to Trust, have faith and surrender all of the “whys” to Him.
There has been an ongoing question in my head for over two years now and no matter how hard I prayed or how much I thought about it, I never received an answer to “why?” I did hear God tell me, “I have something better for you, just trust me,” but that never seemed to quench what I really wanted to know and understand. It was only recently that I realized how much pain and unrest that question was causing me. I was allowing that question to rob me of my peace and steal my joy. That question would come up and it would spiral me into a pit of self-pity. After lots of prayer and wrestling with God on the issue I finally realized that I did not have to continue to ask the question of why, instead of asking I could CHOOSE to submit the question to God and CHOOSE to have faith in God that He had the answers and none of what I had gone through was in vain. I could CHOOSE to believe that if God wanted me to understand the “whys” he would share them with me and if does not share those with me it’s for good reason; my protection and my well being. Genesis 32:29
This leads me to the story of Jacob in the Bible (Genesis 32). This story is at its core is a man trying to do things in his life, his way. The night he wrestles with God he is exhausted and full of anxiety. Let’s face it, when we are tired and anxious we do not make great decisions. His brother had vowed to kill him and Jacob had concocted a plan and was spent on all he had done to try to escape this fate. He wrestled with God all night! Like many of us Jacob would not stop and let go of the match he said “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Basically, I’m not going to give into what God wants, I want God to bless me how and when I want to be blessed, because I know what my blessings should look like. If he had surrendered to God and Gods will/plan he would have saved himself a lot of pain and energy and at the end of this struggle/wrestling match, Jacob was left crippled. It shows us that no matter how much strength we think we have, it’s no match for Gods strength and that inevitably Gods power always shows out. I believe that God crippled Jacob to show him his power with one touch and also it would be a constant reminder to Jacob for the rest of his life of Gods power. In the end it says that God “blessed him there.” He was blessed because he gave over to Gods will, over his own.
Some reasons God does not tell us “why:”
*You would not understand the answer and it would leave you even more confused than before.
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.-Isa. 55:9
*No matter what you think, you do not know all the facts/details. Only God knows that. If you understood it all then you wouldn’t need to have faith. You wouldn’t have to trust God.
*The enemy uses the “whys” as a distraction which can lead to a distrust of God. The enemy will tell you that you are entitled to know why.
So what do we know about God and our situations, circumstances and questions:
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”-Romans 8:28
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”-Jeremiah 29:11
The biggest thing you can do to let go of the “whys” is to switch your focus. If you are only focused on the “whys” you cannot see anything else. Instead practice and choose to focus on your blessings (big and small), the present moment, and your future and most importantly focus on God.
This week I challenge you to put your “whys” aside and choose to trust that God knows exactly what he is doing. I’m praying for each one of you. Every one of you is important to the kingdom, so put your crowns back on, throw your shoulders back and act accordingly to what God says about you!
“You cannot fulfil God's purposes for your life while focusing on your own plans. ” –Rick Warren