The Big Why

So, having re-read last week’s blog I ask myself, “What am I suggesting?” Am I suggesting that God is uncaring or unconcerned about His sons and daughters, or even worse that He is having a big laugh at my anger, grief, and pain? No, it doesn’t feel right to feel that way…then or now. But I am ready to admit that I might have wondered about it. I certainly asked, WHY?

I was taught that God loves me and that He has a wonderful plan for my life. I taught Freddy and a lot of others that same thing. The implication then follows that I will always understand that “wonderful plan” and approve of it. Driving nails in the coffin of a twenty something year old friend is not a wonderful plan. I didn’t approve of that plan, if indeed it was a part of anyone’s plan for Freddy to die. That brings me to the question, “Why?”

Sometimes we are able to see why. Allow me to illustrate with a story from the Bible. Joseph’s story starts in Genesis 37 where we read of Joseph being his father’s favorite. Joseph’s father Jacob foolishly lavished things on Joseph like a multi-colored robe. Joseph’s brothers realized that daddy loves Joseph more than he loves us, so we are told that “they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him (Gen. 37:4).” To make matters worse, when Joseph was seventeen he had dreams predicting that he would rule over his entire family, and he foolishly told his brothers about the dreams.

These things prompted Joseph’s brothers to kill him. Then, because the opportunity arose, they sold him into slavery instead, and told their father Jacob that he had died. They presented the multi-colored robe to Jacob with blood stains on it as evidence. Joseph wound up in Egypt and things didn’t go well for him there, being imprisoned for two years for no wrong-doing of his own. Joseph might have felt snake-bit about this time.

Then, he became Pharaoh’s second-in-command. Jacob (Joseph’s father) sent Joseph’s brothers to Egypt to buy food. Joseph lured them back to Egypt and we find a very touching speech when he reveals himself to his brothers. In Genesis 45:4 we find him saying, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now, do not be angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life…so it was not you who sent me here, but God.” Years later, after Jacob died, Joseph said to his brothers, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good. To bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Gen. 50:19-20)

Occasionally I see or hear an answer to the question of “Why?” as Joseph did. At other times I am left to wonder “Why” and sometimes I can be okay with not knowing why. That is where I am at with Freddy’s death, I still don’t know why, but I’m okay with not knowing why. Then there are other times when I just ask, why… and where is this wonderful plan? If you haven’t figured me out yet, I don’t have any tidy answers to these questions.

I borrow again from Dr. Dobson’s book, “When God Doesn’t Make Sense” on page 35.

I find it irritating when amateur theologians throw around simplistic platitudes, such as ‘God must have wanted the little flower named ________ for his heavenly garden.’ Nonsense! A loving Father does not tear the heart out of a family for selfish purposes!

It is extremely important to take a new look at Scripture and recognize that trials and suffering are part of the human condition. All of the Biblical writers, including the giants of the faith, went through similar hardships.

Whoever told you, or lead you to believe that life for the Christian was to be a bed of roses forgot to mention the thorns! Yes, God is in control. I have to believe that. For my own sanity, I have to believe in a God who can be and who is in control of this world and everything in it! Sometimes He lets me see why, and other times He lets me wonder why to see if I trust Him.