Why You SHOULD Ask, “Why, God?”


Why You SHOULD Ask, "WHY, God?" // jessconnell.com

Sometimes we can feel like it’s wrong to ask, “why, God?” When hard times come, it’s often a natural question of our hearts… but I don’t think it’s a wrong question. The only concern I have is that I think we don’t ask it soon enough.

I want to encourage you to ask it now.

The time to decide what you believe about why God…

  • lets children get cancer,
  • allows good policemen to get shot on the job,
  • lets sexually active teens get pregnant while godly married couples face infertility,

(all the hard, niggling questions of life) …is NOT when these things happen to you, your child, your family, your best friend.

The time to ask, “how can this be good, or how could this terrible thing possibly work together for good?” is not at some future time when you face your life’s greatest trial.

The time to decide is now.

Our culture tells likes like:

“you can’t know what it’s like until you go through it.”

But that’s baloney.

In some ways, of course, it’s true:

  • No one else knows exactly what it’s like to be YOU going through YOUR trial. (Each heart knows it’s own sorrows.)
  • No one person knows all the particular difficulties of every specific tragedy and difficulty that every human being will face.

And yet:

  • We know what deep pain is.
  • We know what having a sinful heart is like.
  • We know about facing uncertainty, doubt, anxiety, and fear.
  • We know what it’s like to feel betrayed and alone.
  • We know what it’s like to have the people around us let us down.
  • As we age, we know what it’s like to feel like our health, and often the health of someone we love, is failing.
  • We know what it’s like to think we can control life and then have reality slap us upside the head.
  • We come to know what it’s like to lose someone dear to us.
  • We feel terrified by sickness and injury in someone we love.
  • Tragedy strikes and we know what it’s like to feel that the rug has just been pulled out from under us, and life no longer looks the way it did before.

These feelings are common among humanity, even if the particulars and degrees of each circumstance differ.

We *CAN*, and I believe we *SHOULD* figure out now what the Scriptures say about why God let Joseph be sold into the pit, why Job was severely afflicted (though he was godly), why the blind man was born blind, and why the wicked are sometimes given long life while some die young.

We should figure out who God is in relation to these things NOW, before:

  • OUR 6-year-old is diagnosed with cancer
  • it is OUR husband who dies and we’re left widowed with mouths to feed
  • we cannot control our own fertility in ways that we anticipated and hoped for
  • we find a lump
  • we get the phone call that rocks our world & changes our life forever

Some people ask “why, God?” but then never really lean in to hear His answer. They just let the question reverberate, echoing on repeat for the whole of their lives, robbing them of peace and rest.

But the key to understanding suffering comes in knowing, meditating on, and trusting God’s Word. There, He gives answers for:

  • why suffering exists,
  • how He uses it,
  • what it produces in our hearts and lives,
  • who He is in the midst of it,
  • what we can/should do when we’re in a trial, and
  • where He is when we’re suffering.

suffering

God doesn’t leave us dangling, hurting, and alone, without answers. In His Word, He offers us wisdom, and even can help us prepare for future suffering by increasing our knowledge of Him.

  • You can, and should, think through suffering and the Sovereignty of God before trials come.
  • You can, and should, ask the hard questions and lean in to the Word to hear God’s answers.
  • You can, and should, prepare for future hard things by taking time now to study God’s goodness amidst hard things.

IN THE COMMENTS, PLEASE SHARE:

How do you remind yourself, in your daily life, of the reality of God’s goodness amidst hard things? Do you turn TOWARD the hard questions, rather than away from them, about who God is and why He allows hard things to happen?

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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5 Responses

  1. Laura says:

    I’ve always found it really easy to question God. My personality is such that I’ve never shied away from asking Him the hard questions, even letting Him know how angry I feel sometimes at what choices He’s made for me. These questions never make me doubt He is real… on the contrary, when I question Him and find answers (or not) it solidifies my faith that He is real and He is there and He cares.

    A year and a half ago, I experienced the right side of my body going numb and it lasted for two months, but finally went away. It was the hardest period of my life to date. I’ve been through medical testing and still have testing to go through. In Canada, our healthcare system is such that it takes forever to find answers sometimes and so I’ve had to trust Him through the waiting.

    I remember sitting out on my deck nearly two springs ago, feeling the warm breeze blowing over me and literally feeling numb from the inside out. I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t pray and I was so very terrified. I just kept singing “It is well with my soul” over and over.

    Sometimes, in painful situations, it’s hard to ‘feel’ God near. When you’re walking through something, the pain is so dark that it’s hard to remind yourself that He’s promised and is faithful. Those comforting verses that one glibly learns in times of ease finally take on meaning. Sometimes it is later, when you reflect back on the hard time, that you realize He carried you through, and that He was with you all the way.

    Repeating to myself His promises, repeating the verses I’d earlier hid in my heart, singing comforting hymns to myself are all ways of reminding myself that He wants to walk through the pain with me.

    There are other things in my life too which I find very painful and disappointing, and it’s a continual placing my mind on ‘whatever is true, whatever is good’ and remembering that the yoke upon my shoulders is shared with Him. “He knows the way He taketh, and I will walk with Him… My savior has my treasure and He will walk with me.”

    Maybe I should write my own blog post haha. 😀

    • Carletta says:

      Thanks for sharing all of this! I have also found it helpful to just sing to myself in tough times. Lately, I have just been singing that song Good, Good Father over and over again. Just reminding myself that He is good and perfect in all of His ways, and that he is being loving, even while things are difficult. He is not aiming to punish me, but to bring about good in my life.

  2. What an excellent post to remind us to know who God is before these things happen and that’s okay to ask why. I often found that it was hard to believe that I could lament to God when my infant son passed away this past year. I actually thought that it was prideful in order to do so. But I am now learning that lamenting is a way to show that you actually trust the person you are lamenting to! I thought my faith was being questioned but my faith has grown after leaning into the grief of what was already a hard life. And he allowed me to ask WHY without condemnation. I wrote this poem only days after my 3.5 month old son passed away. I hope it’s okay if I share it, I believe God answered me very clearly in that moment.

    I asked God…

    What do you do when you lose your baby, a twin, when everything about her reminds you of him?

    How is so much pain in this life ever a part of your plan, when you could have stopped it before it ever began?

    Do you really believe that I can handle all you have allowed me to walk through, while still fully and faithfully believing and trusting in you?

    What happens to me when everyone else has moved on, and I’m left with the brokenness and grief of losing my son?

    And He Answered…

    My child, I know your heart breaks and the pain seems too much to bear

    I heard your desperate pleas to save your child, in that very moment, I was right there

    And although it doesn’t seem fair, to lose a life so precious and pure

    I must tell you some things, of which you can be sure

    Despite what you are enduring, my promises are still true

    I know the end from the beginning, so you can fear not, for I am God and I am with you

    Don’t try to understand, because my ways are higher than yours, and my plan is without flaw

    I am God, and you must not forget that it was my son whom I freely gave to redeem you from the law

    See you were bought with a price, and it came at a high cost

    I know the pain of losing a son, but it was worth the price to save the lost

    His life was perfect, but His job was done

    And this is the same for this story, this is the same for your son

    I work all things together for good, because you love me, and you know that death is not the end

    And you can have the peace of knowing that you will see your son again

    You are blessed in your mourning, and you will be comforted, so that you may comfort others

    You have walked an uncommon road and journey, that I have not called for most mothers

    As you continue in this life, walk by faith and not by sight

    And when I call you home, it is only then that you will fully realize, that everything is indeed alright

    • Jess Connell says:

      WOW, thank you for sharing!

      What a wonderful way to process through your grief. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I’m very thankful you shared about it here.

    • Amanda says:

      That’s beautiful! I’m so sorry for your heartbreak and loss, but so appreciate you sharing this! Very encouraging to me!

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