Why is this happening to me? Why didn’t God prevent it? Why these continuing struggles? Why? Why? Why? I ask those questions, you ask them, everyone asks them. Somehow we think that if we knew God’s reason in allowing that which we don’t understand, we will better be able to adjust to it and accept it. We should know better than that. Children often question “Why?” but giving them an answer doesn’t seem to be much help. The big problem with asking “Why?” is that it often implies a lack of faith and trust. We infer that if God could explain Himself to us, then we’d know if He is right or wrong and can act accordingly.
Does God owe us an explanation? Would we be able to understand or trust even if He did? God may not answer our “Why?” questions, but He responds to them like the loving Father He is. Here are some of the things He says.
“Trust Me, I know what I’m doing.” Instead of having faith in Him, we put our faith in our ability to understand His reasons, and if they seem good enough to us we’ll trust Him. That will never work.
“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“ (Isaiah 55:8-9). That’s God’s way of saying, “Because I said so.” His ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30) and He never makes a mistake.
“It’s an opportunity to stretch your faith.” “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4). God allows things we don’t like or understand to help us mature and become more like Jesus (Romans 8:28-29). An easy, perfect life only produces spoiled children and God doesn’t want that to happen to His children.
“Just be patient.” Just like children, we get impatient to see the end. We want the product, but we don’t like the process. Again, faith is the antidote to impatience. “No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” Psalm 84:11). God has a different timeline than we do. We have His promise that if we are following Him, He won’t withhold anything good for us. Perhaps He knows something we don’t, and the thing we want isn’t the very best thing for us. Do you trust Him enough to let Him make that call?
“I’ve got something better in store for you.” We may think God is giving us second best, or He’s forgotten about us, but that is not true. Jesus said: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11) Keep your hope in God (not in what you’re hoping to get from Him). He is far better than the most loving of earthly parents. He sees what’s best for us eternally, not just temporally. And He is a God who loves to bless His children.
“I’m protecting you from yourself.” The Psalmist said “My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long – though I know not how to relate them all” (Psalm 71:15). Do you believe that God is saving you all day long through what He brings in and out of your life? God may say “no” to save you from something hurtful or He might allow something you don’t like because it’s keeping you from something worse. God knows our weaknesses when it comes to temptation. He knows our tendency for failure when it comes to our relationships and He sees what’s ahead.
We don’t. Like any good parent, God is committed to protecting us from anything that is not His perfect best for us.
“I love you too much to give you everything you want!” God loves us too much to give us exactly what we want. Look back on your life and you will see numerous times when things worked out differently than what you wanted. Hindsight shows God knew better than you. Instead of questioning “Why?” we now say, “Thank you for knowing and doing what was best for me!” God is loving. He is good. And if He “did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). If God has not delivered on something you wanted or has allowed something to happen which you don’t understand, His answer might best be “Because I love you. And one day you will understand.”
Notice how many of these remind you of when you were raising your children and expecting them to trust and obey you. A godly parent says all these things to their children. If we as fallible human beings want to do what is best for our children, how much more does our heavenly Father want to do so! (Doylestown, PA December 11, 2023)
Which of the above responses speak most strongly to you? Write it down some place where you’ll see it and remember it.
Are you doing your best to trust God with things you don’t like or understand? If so, change “why me?” to “why not me.”
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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