The Nagging Question of “Why?”

One of the most asked questions in the world has to be “Why?” It can be uttered when something good occurs but, let’s be honest, it’s almost always asked when something bad happens. It’s a natural human response. We don’t like the thought of being out of control and we never want bad things to happen. And while it’s an instinctual question it’s not the best question to ask. Part of that is because it allows us to voice our displeasure of being “wronged” as if our way is the best way, or our pleasure is the only goal of this life. We ask “Why?” although we can not (or chose not) comprehend.

Recently I was mowing our backyard and I saw a very small rabbit run out from under our deck and nestle itself against the brick of the house, I’m guessing in an attempt to blend in. I imagine it didn’t feel safe enough there because it darted out ahead of me again, this time along our fence. I knew the little feller was scared and doing what he thought was best. If only the tiny guy knew that I meant no harm, that I genuinely had concern for his well-being, he would relax and let me go around. But this rabbit had no idea what I was doing. The sound of the mower approaching him triggered his instincts of self-preservation, not knowing that his running was keeping him in the path of the very thing he feared.

God’s thoughts are higher than ours (Isa 55:9). And while His activity can appear to bring us harm, it could be that we simply don’t understand His purpose. The rabbit couldn’t comprehend what I was doing and thought I was a threat to his life, but my intent was just the opposite.

Someone close to our family recently suffered a bad shoulder injury in a fall while doing work around the house. The damage was severe enough require surgery. The pre-op tests revealed that his heart needed attention before they could repair his surgery and doctors discovered that 3 arteries were either completely or partially blocked. Without the surgery on his heart, he likely would have died very soon. A fall that resulted in great pain revealed something that would have resulted in death.

Sometimes things don’t make sense…especially painful things. But rather than asking “Why?” the better question, as Philip Yancey has said, is, “To what end?” Our purpose is to bring glory to God. Period. We’re not responsible to understand everything God does, but we are to discover ways to bring glory to Him in whatever we endure. His ultimate glory will also be our ultimate good. We have to rest in that, especially when nothing makes sense.

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