“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?”
Jaime Hampton is on Candidly Christian talking about what to do with the things that make you ask “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.
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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