“Why, God, why?”
We ask the why question, because we need to find some type of order in life. When situations don’t make sense and we can’t logically figure them out, we ask why.
“Why did both my parents have to struggle through dementia and Alzheimer’s – especially when they were both so healthy? I don’t understand, God. Why?”
“Why did my friend have to lose her husband after the loss of both parents in the same year? Doesn’t that seems a bit unfair? Why?”
“Why do single moms and their children have to suffer the consequences when the dad makes unhealthy choices? Injustice screams, ‘Why?’”
Years ago, when I attended a legalistic church, a young man in our community was killed in a train accident. It was brutal and a terrible shock to all of us. Our youth group met to discuss it. Those were the days before counselors were available.
One of the church leaders gathered us together and said, “This young man died because he must have sinned. So be careful how you live. God is watching.”
Even as a teenager, something about that theory seemed wrong to me so I started my own search. I looked through my dad’s Bible, because it was the King James version and we had been taught it was the only version that espoused truth. However, good old King Jimmy provided no answers for my teenaged heart.
Years later I found more of the answer in a different version of the Bible. Poor old Job who suffered so terribly provided a plausible variation to the Why question: “Whether for correction, or for His world, or for lovingkindness – He causes it to happen” (Job 37:13 NASB).
Sometimes God allows terrible things to happen because we need to be shocked into reality and reminded he is sovereign. Perhaps in those moments of horrific happenings, we will reset our course and start over.
How has this played out in history? How have other historical figures looked at correction? Did Adam and Eve raise Seth differently because of what they learned through their parenting of Cain and Abel? Probably, although I don’t think we can blame parents for the choices their children make.
God reminded the Israelites to stay away from foreign altars by allowing snake bites to kill
and maim. A drastic resolution, to be sure, but it does explain some of God’s dealings with the Israelites. And today, we have the medical symbol to remind us of this historic event.
Hasn’t history taught us to be careful of the Hitlers of this world because of the Holocaust?
When terrible things happen to us, I think one response should be “What can I learn from this situation?” Rather than the “Why” question, perhaps we should rephrase it with “What?”
As gracious and loving as God is, he sometimes allows terrible things to happen. Why? So we can learn from our experiences and grow up.
But I do not believe we should live in the fear of making a mistake because God might cause a train to run over us. Sheesh!
For His World
We live in a world defined by depravity. Just try to find a television show you wouldn’t mind watching with Jesus plopped beside you on the sofa.
We are deceived into thinking we can fill our minds with pornography and not face any consequences.
We believe we can speed and drive drunk and nothing will happen because we are somehow immortal.
We eat what is not good for us, buy guns and forget to hide the bullets from children, look at someone’s skin color and judge him.
Our world is not a safe place to live, so obviously – bad things are going to happen. Tornadoes, floods, earthquakes – all of these factor into the orb we inhabit. None of us can avoid some sort of tragedy during our lifetimes. It is part of the definition of living.
Why does God allow the world to sometimes turn against us?
To remind us we are human and a better place does exist. Tornadoes will not touch heaven, nor will the sin of someone else force thorny consequences on families.
Heaven and an eternal existence with God is something we long for, live for and hope for. This world will someday disappear.
God wants to remind us he has planned for something better.
This seems the most difficult of the Job answers. Sometimes God allows certain tragedies to happen because he is a loving God.
That seems backward, an opposite world treatise. I do not believe we can ever second guess Almighty God.
But I do wonder… did God allow the groom to be killed the night before his wedding because he would someday betray his bride and destroy his family?
Does God invite little children into his heavenly arms instead of allowing them to live full lives because he knows their homes and their families will be bombed into oblivion and it is kinder to take them out of the horror?
Will God prevent disaster by allowing a change in course?
I do not pretend to know what God determines about anyone else’s life, but I do know he has sometimes worked backward lovingkindness into my destiny.
Hindsight is always wiser than the present experience. God allowed me to be downsized out of a good job. Then he pointed me toward something better.
Unemployment was hard, but the next job was so much better for me and fit my giftings. My “Why?” question became God’s answer, “Just wait and see what I have for you.”
During that year of unemployment, I began writing a book that resulted in a trilogy and taught me how much fun fiction-writing could be.
How does Job 37:13 fit in with the journey of Alzheimer’s? Part of the answer has to include the world we live in.
The stresses, the electromagnetic fields around us that affect our brains, the ways we have destroyed our food chains and how we have polluted our water source, the chemicals we pour into our bodies that taste good but end up affecting the brain.
All these worldly systems we have invented may contain a clue.
I hope God isn’t correcting me or any of my family members by allowing us to watch Mom suffer.
But I am willing to ask God to teach me through the process, to grow patience in me and hopefully – by sharing these words with you – to transfer hope within this blog.
As Reverend G so aptly says, “The question is ‘Why?’ but the answer is ‘Who.’”
God is in control of everything, and when we cannot understand why – the best thing we can do – is run into his loving arms.
©2016 RJ Thesman, Author of the Reverend G Trilogy