“But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” (Romans 9:20, ESV)
The word why contains only three little letters, but, oh, the emotion behind that short word. Our human mind wants (demands) an answer. Why did this unexpected—and difficult—thing happen in my life? Quite often, the real question is, “Why me, Lord?” After all, I am Your child. Why did this happen to me? Why did You allow this? Why haven’t You done something! Even if we don’t voice these thoughts, the questions fill our mind.
We are not the first person to ask these questions. And we won’t be the last. In his darkest times, the psalmist David bombarded God with questions. Sometimes his words seem to echo in our own soul when we don’t understand.
“O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?” (Psalm 13:1-2 NLT)
Have you ever felt like David? Many of us have.
A number of years ago, I experienced my own unexpected “why time.” The difficulty disrupted my comfortable little world until I dusted myself off and chose to move on. Quite a while later I realized how God had used that event to position me into a much better place. He never flashed a big banner in front of me declaring, “I did this for your own good.” Instead, He allowed later events to reveal how that experience led to exactly what I needed for that season of my life. I now thank God for the way He worked everything out.
In John 13:7 Jesus told His disciples, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” When we don’t understand, we must trust.
Someone once suggested that we not ask God why but instead ask what. Lord, what do you want me to learn from this experience? Asking what instead of why may change our entire perspective and allow our situation to become a learning and growing experience.
There is another question we should ask: how.
· How can You use this experience to help me mature and become more like You?
· How can my testimony help others facing similar experiences?
· How will what I learn now help me in the future?
Jeremiah 29:11 is a familiar verse that assures us God’s thoughts toward us are “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” You may be asking why, not understanding the things happening around you and to you. Yet, despite our questions, God is still faithful and has a good plan for our lives.
“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8, ESV)
Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness to me. Even when questions fill my mind, I know You are walking with me and giving me Your strength to lean upon as I face life’s uncertainties. You have never failed me—and according to Your promises You never will. Lord, show me how I can use this experience for Your glory.