We’ve all asked it. Why God? Why have I been stricken by these circumstances, this grief, this loss, etc. An interesting question indeed from the clay directed at the potter. Without labeling it wrong or immature, I think it’s prudent to ask the question: Is it productive? Is it fruitful? That is, asking “Why” when it relates to a life challenge or obstacle. I’m certain that if we looked at our lives on a time continuum, the question of Why? that we had posed in the past probably contains much more of a “because…” now, in hindsight. Although not necessarily incorrect or petty, I do not think that asking the question Why? is productive or fruitful, for two basic reasons:
1. God’s ways are not our ways, and to question the potter on matters of purpose, plan, meaning or substance can essentially be spinning your spiritual wheels, and can even signify a lack of understanding or faith, and I mean that in a very non-condemning way.
2. Sin has affected our world – amplifying our dependence upon Faith. Faith is the very substance of things hoped for and for us to be set apart or sanctified in His name, should we not be required to hold fast to our faith in the face of a rough season or tough day? The effects of sin are not good and the world hosts these effects everyday, but until the day of complete atonement (the one that’s eternal), we’ve made our homes in the world, and it requires faith in Jesus to dwell in the present.
“In this knowledge we must find contentment in ‘I don’t know,’ while being faithful even in the midst of that which we do not fully understand.”
We Must be OK with the Answer “I Don’t Know”
I think that this is pertinent in converting our ‘Why’s’ into more productive questions. We as Christians are not tasked with knowing everything, and that’s OK, therefore not knowing why certain things happen, especially in the moment, can be a sufficient answer. We should be shrewd and learned in the scriptures and by way of the Holy Spirit for sure, but not omniscient, that’s a quality reserved only for God. The world would teach that there is a methodical answer to everything under the sun, but as we know, there is a season and time for everything and this knowledge transcends any human calculation. In this knowledge we must find contentment in ‘I don’t know,’ while being faithful even in the midst of that which we do not fully understand.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” ~Ecclesiastes 3:1
Re-framing the question: Now what?
What if, instead of asking Why?, we re-adjusted our question to: Now what? Now that an unexpected thing has happened that is painful, detrimental and threatens my perception of the Gospel, what am I to do and how am I to react? This question has more meat and gives God more space to transform and renew your mind! The response to this question directly correlates with the measure of faith applied in seeking its solution. Determining what is next and how to respond to adversity is a glimmering opportunity to withstand, hold fast, not grow weary (in doing good) and grow in your commission and call here on earth. The answers to the ‘now what’ questions are destiny-defining, mobilizing questions, not ones that permit complacency.
So the next time you’re wondering why, try to focus on His goodness and how He would have you react to the challenge. In so doing, you can generate a few new questions: What is the forward path marked by faith? How will His goodness be made manifest in this challenge? Where has He positioned me as a result?
Joe D’Orsie – Communications & Spiritual Life Counsel
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