I have always been an inquisitive child. I have always wanted and at times demand to know “why?!” I have a tendency to feel that I am entitled to knowing “why” and can become quite indignant when there is no answer. In my life, “why” always leads to asking more “why” questions, which breeds greater frustration and despair if the “why” is unanswered.
Job is a great example to me of a person who asked “why?” Job did not have the knowledge or foresight to know that God was allowing him to be tested by Satan (Job 1:6-2:10). Thankfully, Job never cursed God and died as was suggested by his wife and friends. Throughout the book of Job, we learn how Job went from knowing about the Lord, to knowing Him personally through his trials and tribulations! The “whys?” drove Job to God, not away from God.
When I get frustrated, angry and consumed by asking “why,” I tend to pull away from God, not draw closer to Him. In those times, I am reminded of 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” (ESV). These verses humble and discipline me.
God is under no and I mean NO obligation to tell me/us “why.” God did not punish Job for asking why, but God did correct Job and his thinking. For Job and for us, God is sovereign and He can do whatever He wants. While there are some days I find contentment and acceptance with that thought, there are other days where I do not.
A few years ago, in my God Time (quiet time/devotional time) I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit saying to me, “Mandy, you are asking the wrong question, why does not matter. Stop asking why and starting asking, how do I respond.”
This was a light bulb moment for me. As I said above, God is under NO obligation to explain or answer why. However, God is obligated and will most certainly help me/us respond to any situation, circumstance, person, event etc. in a way that aligns with His Word and Character. Going from asking, “why?” to “how do I respond” takes the focus off of the situation and places the focus on God. By asking “how do I respond?” I become responsible for my conduct/actions. Human responsibility and God’s Sovereignty are married.
“Why” is truly an unending cycle if it does not drive us to God. The “whys” of life can only be satisfied when we trust and rest in knowing that Jesus is our Sovereign Lord and that He knows what He is doing. We need to trust that He will enable us to respond as He wants us to respond.
Father God, this life is NOT easy! It is not easy to ask “how do I respond” instead of staying in the mire of “why?” Lord, help us to respond to life’s adversities in a way that honors You. Lord, I have no idea what this dear reader is facing. I pray this reader will know that I am in NO WAY dismissing what they are going through, nor do I suggest they should never ask “why?” Lord, may their “whys” drive them to You! Father God, I praise You that You know both why and how this reader should respond to whatever it is they are going through. Thank You Lord for this reader. Thank You Lord, that even when things do not make sense, we know that Isaiah’s words are true. Lord, in all things, in all situations may we seek You. Lord, help us to endure adversity like Job so that when You say to Satan, “have you heard of my servant…” we will respond in a way that pleases and honors you. In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.