The ‘why’ questions bothering us
WE have many “why” questions in life. At one time or another. Especially during times of trials, sufferings, and crises. Many, if not all of us, are tempted a thousand times to ask: “My God, why…?” We should not be disturbed or bothered if we are tempted to ask this question. From Biblical times, we see people asking the same question.
*** Let me share with you some of the Biblical “whys.” They sound familiar in this modern age. Indeed, we are echoing the same groans, complaints, and grumblings of the Biblical people.
• “Why is this happening to me?” (Genesis 25:22) Rebekah, Isaac’s wife’s said this when she was pregnant with twin boys and the babies were jostling each other in her womb.
• “O, Lord, why have You brought trouble upon this people?” (Exodus 5:22) Moses said this when he was leading the Israelites out of Egypt and the pharaoh was starting to make the Israelites’ life more miserable.
• “Why did we ever leave Egypt?” (Numbers 11:20) The grumbling Israelites said this to Moses on their way to the Promised Land.
• “If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6:13) Gideon said this to the Lord when the Midianites were oppressing the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land.
• “I went away full, but the Lord brought me back empty. Why…?” (Ruth 1:21) These were Naomi’s words when she went back to Bethlehem with Ruth, her daughter-inlaw, after her husband and two sons died in Moab.
• “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?” (Job 3:11) A cry from Job when his great sufferings started.
• “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?” (Psalm 2:1) Words from King David. He said these words at a time when Israel was being attacked by the neighboring pagan nations.
• “Why, O Lord, do You stand far off? Why do you hide Yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1) The psalmist was asking God to come to his aid soonest. Like many of us, we ask this familiar question – during times of oppression and trials.
• “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1) An urgent appeal of David during some great trial.
• “Why, O Lord, do You make us wander from Your ways and harden our hearts so we do not revere You?” (Isaiah 63:17) In behalf of the Israelites who were disobeying God, Isaiah was asking for mercy and compassion.
• “Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable?” (Jeremiah 15:18) These words came from Jeremiah, one of God’s prophets, when he was hurt and afraid.
• “Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong?” (Habakkuk 1:3) Habakkuk, one of God’s prophet who was saddened by the violence and corruption around him. He complained to God. ***
Asking the question, “My God, my God, why…” is perfectly natural. We all ask this question at one time or another. While God does not always answer our “why” questions, He does understand why we ask them. When Jesus was crucified and was near death and cried out the “why” question to God. Jesus did not also get an answer as He hung upon the cross.
*** We should not complain or grumble if God does not answer our “why” questions. We cannot fit God into our mold and make God’s plans and purposes fit and conform to ours. Instead, we should try to fit into His plans. Why? The answer is found in Isaiah 55:8-9 which says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Actually, we need not ask the “why” question because Calvary covers it all. Our biggest security blanket is that the time is coming soon when all the riddles and puzzles in this life will fall into place and our unwaivering faith in the Lord will be rewarded. As one Christian said: “No longer will we cry My God, why?” Instead, “alas” will become “Alleluia.” All question marks will be straightened into exclamation points, sorrow will change to singing, and pain will be lost in praise.
*** Let us hang on to our faith in a great and omnipotent God who created us – even in the midst of trials, sufferings, and crises. The following words of a brother Christian is worth remembering to give us inner strength during the storms in our life: “When belief in God becomes difficult, the tendency is to turn away from Him. But, in Heaven’s name, to what?”
*** This column continues to give out copies of the Holy Bible for free to those who cannot afford to buy their own copies. If interested, please send your letter-request to Ms. Nelly Favis Villafuerte, 5233 LRV Building, Fahrenheit St., Palanan, Makati City. Kindly mention if it is the Tagalog, English, Cebuano, or Ilocano Bible that is preferred.
When belief in God becomes difficult, the tendency is to turn away from Him. But, in Heaven’s name, to what?
Be joyful and forgiving!