We all have people in our lives who we consider experts in their fields, and we go to them when we need answers. We go to our doctor for medical advice, our lawyer for legal advice, and we go to our pastor for spiritual direction.
However, there are days we find ourselves with questions no earthly expert can answer.
Two days ago, I lost one of my dearest younger cousins.
He had been battling cancer for a while, and after treatment, he seemed okay. Then he watched his mother (my dear aunt) get diagnosed with cancer. He walked her through it until she died three months ago.
Now he has also succumbed to cancer, leaving behind a heartbroken brother—and family.
WHY? Why Lord?
I ask why when I watched the news and witnessed the devastation in Turkey from the earthquake, the death toll of over 21,000, and thousands evacuating the only home they ever knew.
Why? Why Lord? Why the suffering? Why illnesses? Why the divorces? Why the heartbreaks?
There is no simple answer to these challenging questions, but they seem to fit into God’s bigger plans. The go-to response is always to trust God.
However, I don’t want to oversimplify what you might be going through, or answer your WHY by telling you to trust God.
If I can be honest, one minute, I am determined to trust God, but the next minute I feel myself slipping. The WHY questions tumble in so hard and knock me off my feet. My heart hurts. My eyes leak. I feel like nothing makes sense.
Have you ever been there? Are you there now?
While I do not have the answers to the big WHYs, I have discovered a few things that bring me comfort, hope, and sometimes even closure.
I discovered that we do not need to hide our grief, confusion, and anger. God made those emotions and can certainly handle our raw expression of them (Rom 8:39).
I discovered that our questions are important to God, and the Scriptures are full of hurting people asking questions.
- Moses asked, “Why have you dealt ill with your servant?” (Numbers 11:11)
- David asked, “Oh Lord why do you stand far off? Why do you hide in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1)
- Job asked; “Why have you made me your target?” (Job 7:20)
- Habbakuk asked, “Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?” (Habbakuk 1:3)
- Jesus on the cross asked God, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
In every case, God either answered them directly, reminding them that He was in control, or the person asking the question later recognized it on their own and saw how God was working in their suffering and struggles.
I have discovered that God does not promise that everything will be alright. However, God does promise never to leave us (Heb13:5). There is nothing we can say or yell at God that will make God abandon us or love us any less.
God does not promise that life will always go well, but consistently promises God’s presence, God’s faithfulness, and God’s steadfast love. God is always with us – Emmanuel.
What are some of your why questions? Have you ever talked to God about them? Do you believe God is with you in the hardship you face?
How do you find comfort in your time of grief?
Let Us Pray:
We come to you with our brokenness and our pain.
We want to know WHY.
Why did our loved ones die?
Why was I diagnosed with this disease?
Why did my heart have to break?
Why do your people suffer?
As we face all these challenges, help us to remember that you are right here with us.
Bring us clarity on your bigger plan and the roles we were meant to play.
I would love to hear your story and your thoughts.
Please email me at: email@example.com.