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Walking without a Why

About a year ago, I was sorting through some confusing circumstances and I found myself exhausted and in a cycle of praying about a decision, making one, then inevitably questioning the conclusion I had come to. This all sounds very vague, but I’m telling you like this because that cycle doesn’t just happen with one set of circumstances. I found myself saying, “I can’t wait for this to all make sense. Lord, I know that once you bring resolution to this circumstance, I will understand why I had to muddle through this process again.” This question of why is something I think that we all find ourselves constantly coming to the Lord with.

Whether it be in jobs, relationships, friendships, or disappointments we want to understand why the Lord is doing things a certain way. I shared these frustrations with a friend saying, “I just want to know why this is all happening.” She replied, “Em, we’re not always entitled to a why.” That stuck with me, as we began to discuss this idea I was initially confused, “What do you mean I don’t get to know why?” But the more I thought about it, the more this made sense. The Lord works in complex ways, his ways are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:9). How could I ever fully comprehend a God who is omniscient?

“We’re not always entitled to WHY

God is SO good, and the truth is I do not need to know why he is at work in every circumstance. This also brings up the question, why do I believe God owes me an explanation? Has he not delivered me from my sin? Brought me into relationship with him through sacrificing his beloved son? He tells me he will give me life to the full (John 10:10), so do I think that full life he has planned for me is not good enough? God is perfect at keeping the main thing the main thing, and that is the expansion of his kingdom through his glory.

God is perfect at keeping the main thing the main thing.

I’m sure that Job was confused and wanted to know why God was allowing him to be persecuted in the midst of his suffering. Adam had to be so confused as to why God would allow Eve to tempt him into sin. Countless other old testament characters have no doubt gone to the Lord with questions of why, and in retrospect we see what God was doing. But did they fully understand how impactful their lives would be? These stories have been taught for centuries to allow us to know God better. They show us the overwhelming, reckless love of God that can bring us out of the pits of despair as he did Job. Our brokenness and God’s perfection are juxtaposed to one another in Adam and Eve’s fall. God was GLORIFIED through these things, and his kingdom made known.

So, when we find ourselves coming to the Lord asking why here are a few reminders.

  1. God is ALWAYS at work.
  2. He will achieve his purposes: to expand his kingdom and be glorified.
  3. Even when we do not understand why we are called to faithfulness and God promises he is WITH us in every circumstance.