Hope for When God Doesn’t Answer the “Why?”

surrender

As my five-year-old continued to ask the question, “Why?” over and over, I could feel my blood pressure rising. This phase started when he was three and hadn’t stopped since. The only facet which changed was where his, “Why?” was directed. He had gone from asking about how things work to questioning our decisions about what he could and couldn’t do.

When I had some space to breathe and reflect on my son’s behavior, I realized I often take the same approach with God. He continues to amaze me each day with the ways he speaks to me and teaches me through my children. And yes, there have often been times when I became angry and distant from God because of that very question: Why?

Why had He allowed those acts against me which caused years of hurt and shame? Why hadn’t He answered my prayer for this person who I loved so much?

All of the unanswered questions which were buried inside me became like a venom which was eating away at my soul. I felt as though I couldn’t move forward without reasons for every pain, for every affliction.

One day several years ago after meeting with a therapist who was helping me work through my postpartum depression, I had a revelation: God is sovereign. A fact that is so simple, yet so hard for us to understand. On this side of eternity, we will never fully understand all of the inner workings of infinite God.

Sometimes, we simply have to let go.

When we let go of the things we don’t understand, the place of surrender becomes a point of hope. (Click to tweet.) 

We can stop striving with God because we realize that no matter what happens, He is in control. We accept the fact that He is God, and there is none like Him.

In 2 Corinthians, when Paul is earnestly petitioning God to remove an unnamed affliction from him, Scripture says he asked God three times to take it away. When God answers him with, “no”,  He does not give a reason. He simply says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Do you think at this point, perhaps, Paul was wondering, “Why?” And yet he still continues, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships…For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

For Christ’s sake. Not because He understood. Not because it was easy. But because it wasn’t about him.

Once we begin to understand that our life has nothing to do with us and everything to do with the one who gave it does us, we find freedom. And “it is for  freedom that Christ set us free.” (Galatians 5:1)

 

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10 thoughts on “Hope for When God Doesn’t Answer the “Why?”

  1. So true, Abby! I have been thinking about this verse a lot…our weakness, His strength and the whole idea of this not being about me! Can you believe it! 🙂 it’s not about ME! Learning and relearning that’s it’s all about His grace…fully glorifying Him!

    Thanks for these words! They bring encouragement to me!

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    • I’m so glad to hear you were encouraged, Rachel. Thanks for stopping here today, and it’s good to see you again. 🙂 Have a great Memorial Day.

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  2. Yes! I have certainly struggled with questions of why in my life, too, and I believe I have come to a point of surrendering to God’s sovereignty even though it is so hard to wrap my head around. I’m sure there will still be times when I will ask “why?” And I don’t really believe God cares that we ask because so many in the Bible did just that. When we let it overcome us and we can’t move past it, then it becomes a problem. Always love and appreciate your thoughts here, Abby. Hugs…mb

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    • Yes, He is a big God and I believe He can handle our “whys.” 🙂 It just feels so good sometimes to let it go. Thanks for your thoughts today. Hugs back to you, Meredith.

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  3. I have often found myself asking God why, in a voice that’s probably equivalent to a three-year-old’s! Haha. But in all seriousness, you’re so right that when we let go of that need to understand—that need for it to be about US—we can finally reach a point of peace.

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  4. I was stuck on the “why?” for months, so your post resonates loudly within me. We can rest in the sovereignty of God, even when we don’t understand. Thank you for reminding me it’s okay to not know the “why” but to trust He’s got us. Your writing blesses me each time!

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    • I think most of us get stuck there at some point, but it’s such a relief to move past it. I am so blessed by your encouragement, Julie! Thanks for sharing your thoughts today.

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  5. I find that it is harder for me to answer my kids’ “Why” questions when I haven’t surrendered my own to God. That is all the motivation I needed. I want them to know the freedom available to all of us. Thank you for sharing. Your words are simply beautiful.

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    • That is so true, Kasey. We are better equipped to answer our children’s questions when we surrender our own to God. I always love hearing from you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your encouraging words.

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