Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Question of Why, and What

Today our nation is remembering one of the most tragic events in our nation's history, one day that changed our country forever. I remember watching the second airplane as it flew directly into the World Trade Center, and both of the towers collapsing on live TV. It looked like something right out of a movie, but this was for real. I recall feeling shock and depression for several weeks.

Following the events of 9/11, there seemed to be a real unity of the American people. We put aside some of our differences, and pulled together to do anything we could to help; many gave financially of their resources, and also of their time to the relief effort. Christians all around the nation were calling for prayer for our leaders, the victims and their families. We vowed that we would never forget and some of us drew nearer to God to help us find answers to the many questions that were being asked.

One of the most frequently asked questions though, is why? I have heard some TV reporters mock God, and say that if God would allow tragedies and such human suffering, then "He isn't very nice."

I always wonder, why is God the first one to get blamed for everything that goes wrong, but when we need help in time of deep trouble, it seems embedded in our conscience to cry out to God. They say there is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole, and I tend to agree.

I don't have all the answers, but the Bible does (even if I don't always understand it as I should). God allows people to suffer for different reasons, but most of all to draw a world that desperately needs redemption closer to the Saviour that can deliver them in the time of need. If you study the character of God, you will learn that He is good, merciful, loving, and takes no pleasure in death and human tragedy. He gave his only begotten Son to suffer, die, and rise again from the grave, and has conquered it. The Bible tells us that He has taken the sting out of death.

"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 15: 55-57

I am in no way minimizing the pain that others feel, and many people have suffered things far worse than I can even begin to imagine. But there have been times of suffering in my own life when I have asked God why, but that is when my faith draws me back to realize that it isn't God's fault. Sometimes the suffering, trial, or temptation has been a result of my own rebellion, failures, or perhaps decisions made, etc.

Other times it is the goodness of God, a gentle or sometimes harsh chastening (because we need it) from a loving Heavenly Father, that is drawing us into a closer relationship with Him. We can not trust our own human reasoning to figure it all out. I just try to believe and put faith in the promises that I do know for sure, and pray and ask God for wisdom to understand the rest that I don't.

The Word of God is a treasure chest of promises, wisdom, and comfort to those who seek it. Maybe we are asking God the wrong question--instead of why--we should ask what, as in "What would you have me to do Lord Jesus?"


The Anderson Family said...

That is an encouraging post, a message I need to hear more often!

Jenna said...

This is right on!

chip said...

I am so glad that you include Mozambique updates on your blog! people have asked me if Nathan has a website or blog, and I wish he did, but I know that's not really a priority of his at the moment!