“Why is this happening to me?” the young man asked me after describing a crisis he was facing. “I’ve tried to be faithful in serving God. He knows what this means to me. Why would he let this happen?”
Questions that begin with “why” are common when problems come into our lives. Some Christians have suggested that it is wrong to ask “why?” but I don’t think that is necessarily true. Jesus asked the question, “why?” from the cross in His final moments and we know he never said anything that displeases God.
The heart-attitude behind the question is the key. When we question why, is it a sincere question or an accusation against God? There’s a big difference between the two.
The answer to questions about why is multifaceted, but there is one simple answer that often applies when we ask that question. It’s this: God’s ways are not our ways.
We look at things differently than the Sovereign God we serve. For instance, we think the three parts of the day are morning, afternoon and night. Not so with God. In Genesis, the Bible says that “the evening and morning were the first day.” From God’s perspective, new days begin when things start to get darker, not brighter. (Any orthodox Jew knows this, as evidenced by the fact that they begin to observe the Sabbath at sunset on Friday, not Saturday morning.) God’s ways aren’t our ways.
Consider another example: We believe we must be strong to be productive. God says that our need is to be weak, not strong. He doesn’t choose the strong and mighty, but the weak to amaze the world. (See 1 Corinthians 1:27) While we’re trying to become stronger, God wants to make us weaker, more dependent on Him. God’s ways aren’t our ways.
Under God’s rule, first comes darkness, then light. First comes weakness, then strength. The list could go on – first comes death, then life. First comes burst wine skins, then new ones. First comes losing our lives, then we find them. God’s ways aren’t our ways.
Will you choose, by faith, to forfeit the right to understand your circumstances and, instead, trust the One who does all things well? Thank God, His ways aren’t our ways. Would you rather have your way? Or would you rather yield to the way of an omnipotent God who loves you so much that He gave His life to ensure that you would receive the best He has to offer?