Asking “Why?”

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask" (John 11:20-21).

It has been said that the only stupid question is one that is left unasked. Perhaps that is something we consider more fashioned for the classroom than for life. However, what about life? Does the same idea apply--or not? Is it OK to question the things of life, why they are as they are, why some things have gone wrong and perhaps, why some people can so easily accept it when they do go wrong? Is it wrong to wonder why God allows some things and disallows others? Or why He does what He does or what His reason is behind what He does? Perhaps we should be at ease to know that God is big enough for any and all of our questions. He is faithful to lead us to the Truth in Him. And it is often within those question asking times that God is able to strengthen our faith and encourage us to press on.
Stop and count the many ways we can ask questions in times of tragedy or severe crisis. It would seem that even though we may not do so verbally, most of us at least think it within our hearts--”Why?” “Why did it have to happen?” “What reason could there possibly be?” We raise our confusion to God and think or say, “God if only... I mean, you are all powerful and I know that if you chose to you could have...so why?... Why did you let it happen?”
Perhaps most of us have been raised to believe that asking such questions is the same as doubting God. But if we examine Martha’s words, as well as the typical questions, we will find that it is not a lack of faith, but a lack of understanding. And we so desperately want to understand. We want to attach higher purpose and meaning to what otherwise seems so purposeless--and so we ask why. We know God is God, that He knows best, that He sees the whole picture--we do not doubt that--we just want to understand, if only a little, what God’s purpose must be.
The horrible truth, however, is that God’s purposes would not have to be as such if things were perfect. We know that before there was sin that there was harmony and peace and no death--and we know that one day it will be that way again. Yet, due to our choices as a people (the human race), we have consequences to face that were never in God’s design. And though there is so much that sin and consequences can rob us of in this life, we must somehow find the strength to cling to our faith that tells us that God will take all of it and work it to a better good. That is not the most consoling thought, but it may be all we have as an answer to our “Why?”--at least for now anyway.
Martha was not afraid to wonder why Jesus did not come. She told Him that if He would have been there, her brother would not have died. The reasons were greater than she could possibly know. But Jesus did not shun her for her thoughts or feelings, but He had compassion on her, and all who were with her. Lazarus was raised from the dead. The confusion in the hearts and minds of all around was put to rest, and they left there with a greater faith than they had ever known.

The only stupid question, is the one left unasked...
...and God can shoulder the toughest of our questions, without ever thinking any are stupid.


Day by Day Devotionals: www.daybyday.org