What To Do With The Things That Make You Ask “Why God?”

| September 6, 2018
Have you ever been left asking God, "Why?" Jaime has.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

God is good. (Psalm 34:8)

God is love. (John 4:8)

His ways are higher than ours than our ways would be to a mosquito. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

He is invisibly at work in all things – even the ones that leave our heads spinning and our hearts breaking. (Romans 8:28)

These are the truths I come back to when I find myself in a place where things just don’t make sense. Recently, a little boy in a town not far from where we live suffered a senseless, totally random accident. He was killed when a volleyball-sized rock somehow crashed through the windshield of his family’s car. Last year, a family that used to attend our church lost all five of their girls in a house fire. In 2005, a young pastor was electrocuted in the church baptismal after stepping in with a microphone to perform a baptism.

When I hear these things that make my heart hurt, I honestly wonder “Why, God?”

Why God?

I find myself asking why He didn’t do His job better. If He’d only been watching more closely, surely He could have deflected that rock and that beautiful child would still be here. If he’d only prompted a neighbor to check on the girls who died in the fire – just nudged them in their sleep to wake up and smell the smoke, see the flames…maybe they’d still be here. And the pastor? I can think of dozens of ways I would have prevented that accident if I were God.

But I’m not.

And so I realize the flaws in my thinking, and I repeat what I know. I know God is real. And I know He is only good. I know that He is only love. And I know that even though things happen that I just stinking can’t understand, that if we look hard enough, we can see Him working in even the most heartbreaking situations.

When you are left asking God, "why?"

I know that out of the worm-infested dung heap of sin and death and pain that has infested this world, God is birthing a garden that will bear everlasting fruit that will outlast any temporary suffering this world and our Enemy can dish out. And I think that’s the point – if we could fathom how very temporary and fleeting this life is compared to eternity, and if we could see those children and that pastor in their glory right now, maybe we could understand better. I’m not totally there yet – my mind still can’t comprehend the “why” of these things, but I can at least look forward to a time when those things might be revealed.

Praying Through The Heartache

In the meantime, I know that my job is to pray for the things that make me ask “why?” When death, tragedy, suffering and heartache strike, rather than just looking around for God, as Christians we have the authority to bring God’s power down from Heaven through our prayers. For whatever reason, He has invited us into the mystery of prayer, allowing us the privilege to partner with Him in seeing His kingdom come, His will be done here on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Now there’s a reason to ask “Why, God?” Why us? Why would infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Almighty God need our puny little prayers? I don’t know the answer to that either. But I know that He desires fellowship with us, and that He has designed us to partner with Him to display His light through the darkness, His love through hate, His beauty through the ugly things of this world – through the power of prayer.

So whenever we find ourselves asking “Why, God?” we have two options. We can turn from God in anger, refusing to worship Him for who He is, or we can run to Him for help. We can cry out to Him, and even express our frustration to Him – He can take it! And we can turn that pain and sorrow into powerful prayers for God’s glory to be displayed in terrible situations.

Do You Ever Ask Why?

“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” ~ C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

I love this quote by C.S. Lewis. It puts things into perspective. God is God regardless of whether we choose to acknowledge it. And I’m so glad that He is.

How about you? How do you handle the things that make you ask “Why, God?” Have you seen God work through prayer in a heartbreaking situation? We would love to hear from you.

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17 Comments

  • Reply Heather Hart September 6, 2018 at 8:47 am

    When I was a little girl I used to ask God why I was born with cancer. I would ask Him why I had to lose my eye and why I couldn’t just be normal. But when my son was born with the same cancer I was so thankful I had already been through it myself. So thankful I knew what lay ahead. And I have never asked why again, I just trust that God knows best and He has a reason for everything. Some things we go through are hard, but God will get us through all of them.
    Heather Hart recently posted…You Are Not Alone… We All Struggle With SomethingMy Profile

  • Reply heather September 7, 2018 at 8:11 am

    So true. I say that having doubts (or questions) are not bad, as long as we let those doubts push us to God, not away from Him. Someday all things will be clear. Until then, we have to trust Him in faith. And when we doubt, tell Him. Let Him answer the doubts and draw us closer to Him through them, instead of just pushing Him away or acting like we have to keep our doubts and fears inside (which will just put distance between us and Him). Thank you for addressing some of the hard things. God bless!

    • Reply Jaime Hampton September 7, 2018 at 9:41 am

      Thanks for your words, Heather. It would be so easy to let the hard questions about pain drive us away from God if truth isn’t anchoring us to Him. And faith and trust. God bless you!

  • Reply Erin September 7, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I used to ask, “Why?” a lot. Now I remind myself “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

    • Reply Jaime Hampton September 7, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      I love that scripture too, Erin! Thank you so much for sharing it.

  • Reply Amy Hagerup September 7, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    What a powerful quote by CS Lewis: “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” I have never heard this before but it is so good.

    • Reply Jaime Hampton September 7, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      I hadn’t heard it before either, Amy. I came across it the day I wrote this post and had to put it in!

  • Reply Heather September 7, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    This is a beautiful transparent post. I too have asked God why but have come to trust God’s will in my life and know he’s the author of the good and the bad is because of this fallen world.

    • Reply Jaime Hampton September 12, 2018 at 11:13 am

      Thank you for sharing your heart, Heather! I totally agree, remembering that he is only good is a solid rock of truth we need to stand on.
      Jaime Hampton recently posted…BirthMy Profile

  • Reply Heather September 7, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    This is a beautiful transparent post. I too have questioned God but have grown to trust God’s will and know that only good comes from him.

  • Reply Christine September 7, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    Thank you for this thoughtful article! I find so much peace resting in God’s sovereignty and deep love for us.

    • Reply Jaime Hampton September 12, 2018 at 11:14 am

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Christine!
      Jaime Hampton recently posted…BirthMy Profile

  • Reply Maree Dee September 12, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Jaime, Yes, I ask why-why-why through my tears and my anger I cry out to God. And then in my time with God the why doesn’t really matter anymore. I can move on to the what. What are we going to do? Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth
    Maree Dee recently posted…How To Help Prevent SuicideMy Profile

  • Reply Maree Dee September 12, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Jaime – I picked your post to feature this week on Grace & Truth Christian Link-Up. Maree
    Maree Dee recently posted…How To Help Prevent SuicideMy Profile

    • Reply Jaime Hampton September 12, 2018 at 11:19 am

      Thank you so much, Maree Dee!
      Jaime Hampton recently posted…BirthMy Profile

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