Ask WHAT, not WHY?

Scripture: “Behold, I am insignificant.  What can I reply to You?  I lay my hand on my mouth.”  (Job 40:4)  NASB

Many of us watched the 1992 winter Olympics during which figure skater Nancy Kerrigan sat on the floor at the rink crying out “Why?  Why? Whyyyyyyy?” in torrents of tears and deep anguish after a bat-wielding male attacker savagely banged her in the knee, jeopardizing her ability to compete in the competition that season.  We who watched could empathize and sympathize with her plight.  Many of us can relate to the urgency of her ‘Why’ question because she felt the immense injustice of it all and was blown away by the savagery of the act!  And why did it happen?  Well, on the surface it was because an insecure opponent—the ill-fated Tonya Harding--felt threatened by Kerrigan’s chances of besting her on the ice that year.

I, too, if I’d been in her skates, would have bewailed the same question, “Whyyyyyy!?”  Like Nancy Kerrigan, many of us resort so quickly to ‘Why?’ when bad or downright ugly things happen to us, or to those most near and dear to us.  As God’s children, we must learn NOT to run so hastily to asking “Why?”  A question from which we’d derive so much more “mileage,” from a spiritual growth standpoint, is “WHAT, Lord? What do You want me to learn in this trial?  How can my response in the midst of it be one that glorifies You, instead of insisting on my own comfort, ease, and uninterrupted agenda? What deeper aspects of Your faithful character can I learn from this uncomfortable circumstance?   There are people in Scripture that frequently posed the “Why” question:  Jesus’ disciples in John 9:2 (NLT) asked Him, “Why was this man born blind?  Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”  Believe it or not, there are some folks today who make that assumption, suspecting the sufferer of having sinned, simply because they’re going through some tough circumstances; but it’s not always as simplistic as that.  Besides, who are we to presume that about someone—that they sinned, therefore they suffer in some particular way.

Look at Job—one of the great biblical accounts of incomprehensible suffering.  Any good study Bible will present a decent discussion of the “why” considerations—i.e., explaining that we often don’t know what is going on behind the scenes in the spiritual realm.  There are many things in this life for which we’re never going to understand the “WHY?”  We simply need to take the “Proverbs 3:5, 6 Road” back to trusting in the LORD with all our heart, leaning NOT upon our own understanding, rolling and reposing that load onto our Savior with a humble and worshipful attitude.   God’s word teaches that there is NOTHING that happens to you or I as God’s blood-purchased ones, that’s RANDOM, or beyond His sovereign control; every minute detail!  (Ps. 34:19; Ps. 139:16; Jer. 32:19).  ALAS, when we look at our wonderful Savior Jesus, we see THE SUFFERER who underwent the MOST undeserved torture, hatred, rejection, and ultimately murder---just to save some, who by His grace, would stake their eternal DESTINY on His singular and all-sufficient redemptive act!!

Prayer:  Father God, may we Your children be ever mindful that there is no suffering, no trial, no rejection, or tough circumstance that You, our blessed Forerunner, have not already tasted.  Therefore, we can trust that You know how to bring us to the place where we come to prefer asking the “What, Lord?” of those struggles and trusting You for the peace that follows.  Thank You, Lord!  In Christ’s name—Amen!

(by Denise Diggs)

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