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Pointers along the way #23

Two ways of asking "Why?"
- Jacob Ninan

All through time people have been asking this question to God, "Why are You doing this to me?" Most of us have asked this question ourselves. The underlying implication is that we think we do not deserve this kind of treatment from God and that God should treat us much better. This is an attitude of complaint, rebellion, pride, self- righteousness, etc. People also ask other variations of this question such as "Why does God allow the innocent to suffer?," "Why does God allow evil to have power in this world?," etc. It is wrong to ask such question with bitterness, self-pity, complaints and rebellion. This is wrong because in this way we dare to question and accuse the One who created us, just as if a pot complained about the potter.

Some Christians have been so concerned about this way of questioning God that they believe that we should never ask such questions to God or about God. Though they mean well, I think it stunts their own growth and also puts off people who are sincerely seeking for answers.

The second way of asking "Why?" is to ask it in humility, with a desire to understand and learn. God delights in such people, just as a good father is thrilled when his children come to him with their questions. He does not get angry with them, and He does not push them away.

God hardly ever answers the first type of asking "Why?" But He does give answers to those who have the second type of question. He may not give the answer they expect, when they want it, or in the way they look for. But He takes such people to the answers little by little, from one small step to another. His desire is not to satisfy their intellectual curiosity but to lead them to know Him and His ways in a way that builds their trust in Him. They learn the way of understanding "by faith" (He.11:3). They slowly come to the place where they can stand without being shaken when they cannot 'see.'

Isn't that the answer we really need? What is the use being to explain mysteries in a philosophical manner and impress others when we are unable to stand in the midst of storms ourselves?