Some of the hardest lessons in life involve those questions for which there are no easy answers. Some questions in life have no answers for us at all. One of those hard questions we deal with in grief is the question, why? This is either the big question in our minds when someone we love dies. Or this is one of those too hard to answer questions that trouble our minds(if we let it).
When we look in the Bible we read about that unfortunate man Job, and the great drama that played out in his life. I am not going to try to explain this story, but I do want to point out a couple of things he experienced that can help us. Did you know that 16 times Job asked God why, and God never directly answered any of those questions? But it was okay to ask anyway. God can handle even our most bitter lament over the death of someone we love. You might even consider that speaking out your lament to God is an act of faith since we must believe that He is or else we wouldn’t cry out to Him. The key for us is honesty. Telling God how we feel or how we hurt is good for us in more ways than one.
Most believers who struggle with the why’s of grief have their faith based on faulty understanding. We believe that God owes us something. Or we believe that good people don’t suffer. Or we believe that God is obligated to serve our wants or needs. And thus we assume that if God refuses to heal, He owes us an answer; why, God. Have you ever considered that knowing why will not change anything? Knowing why someone died will not bring them back.
Either we believe that God is real and that He cares for us, or else we believe that life is nothing more than random acts based on chance or luck. But if we believe in Jesus, we must believe in Him even when life doesn’t make sense. This can cause some people to have a crisis of faith, where their faith is either destroyed or strengthened. So do we trust our feelings, or do we trust God? Do we trust in our wisdom, or do we trust in an all-wise and loving Heavenly Father? God felt the loss when Jesus died on the cross even though He knew that Christ would rise again. Jesus wept over the death of his friend Lazarus even though Jesus knew that Lazarus was about to be raised from the dead. So God knows what we feel and how we hurt and He is moved by the feeling of our infirmities.
So the lesson of why is that we choose what to believe. And who to believe in.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? Psalm 22:1
“How precious also are your thoughts to me, Oh God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139:17-18