Intersection Column | When You Want to Ask God Why

0 comments Posted on December 27, 2021

by Erica Vetsch

God is sovereign and God is good, and I believe those things with my whole heart. Scripture is very clear on both these attributes of God’s character, and Scripture is never wrong.

“For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17).

There is nothing created that is not under the sovereign control of God.

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34).

God is good, and He can be nothing less than good.

And yet, even knowing this, there are still times I want to ask God why. Why do bad things happen to good people? And closer to home, why is this bad thing happening to me?

Five years ago, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. A scary, aggressive type of cancer I had never heard of before. How could a little stomach pain turn out to be something so horrid?

My mind refused to function, my heart wouldn’t stop racing, and everything the doctor said after the word sarcoma sounded like she was speaking under water.

And the loudest thought that ricocheted through my head after I stopped silently repeating, “No, no, nononononono!” was, “Why?”

Not just any old why but, “Why, God? Why are You letting this happen?”

Immediately, guilt swamped me, because I had been taught from a child that God’s will is not to be questioned.

But the thought persisted. “Why, God?”

As things settled down and we became accustomed to doctor’s visits, surgery, options, and as I watched my husband accept all as from the Lord and for His purposes, I still struggled. Why? This isn’t fair. Why my husband?

Then I did what I should have done in the first place and went to the Scriptures. For comfort and for answers.

Was it wrong to ask God why?

If it was, I was in good company. Moses, David, Habakkuk, Job, the disciples, they all asked God why things were occurring and what God planned to do about it.

As I considered this, I realized that it is not wrong to ask why. In the case of the biblical figures above, sometimes God answered directly, as with Job. With frankness, God reminded Job of who was God and who was the created one in the relationship. Sometimes, God showed through His actions the answer to the why . . . like with David, who questioned why God waited to show judgment on the enemies of Israel, and God responded by giving David a military victory. And sometimes, the person had to work out for themselves, based upon the character of God, that he may never know the why and would have to trust.

Isaiah 55:8-9 reads, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”

In spite of still not knowing the why, these verses became a great comfort to me. I am very thankful that today, my husband is now showing no evidence of cancer. Successful surgery and ongoing chemo treatments have both removed existing cancer and kept it from returning.

It would be easy to say, “God is good” because the outcome is good. But I have also learned through this journey that God is good in every outcome.

I still ask God why from time to time, but I also know that the important question I should be asking is, “How can I glorify You through this circumstance I don’t understand?” Because God is sovereign and God is good.

As is often the case, a spiritual lesson I am learning, or a lesson I need to learn, comes out in my fiction. In my newest release, The Debutante’s Code, my hero, Daniel Swann, and my heroine, Juliette Thorndike, are both struggling with the notion that God is sovereign and God is good. They ask, “Why, God?” a lot! And through their individual and joint journeys, they experience many of the same emotions and questions and struggles that I have been through. I love how story works like that. I love how story can speak truth into the lives of readers and meet them at the point of their struggle, even when the reader happens to be the author.

Are you facing something that doesn’t seem to make sense right now? Are you asking God why? Don’t fret. Asking isn’t wrong. But be sure to go to the Scriptures for comfort and the answers you need. And also ask God, “How can I be a blessing to someone else through this situation? How can I glorify You best?”

About the Author

Bestselling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com.

About the Book

Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series. Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike hasn’t spent much time with her parents and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love. But when they disappear, she discovers they’ve been living double lives as government spies—and they’re only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family’s legacy.

Did You Know?

Winding down before bedtime helps kids fall asleep with ease. The following are some suggestions to help your kids settle down from the day and get ready for bed.

  • Avoid screen time for at least an hour before bedtime. Use the time instead to organize the clothes and supplies needed for tomorrow. Pick out the outfit you plan to wear. Find the matching shoes. Choose a jacket or sweater or raincoat, if needed. Make sure school supplies, sports equipment, dance shoes or other extra-curricular items are handy and in one location.
  • Take a warm bath, put on comfy pajamas, get one last drink of water and brush teeth. Give family members a bedtime hug and kiss.
  • Read a Bible story with an adult or on your own. Pray when you finish reading. Talk to God and be sure to thank Him for taking such good care of you and for loving you with a never-ending love. Ask God to take care of your family and friends, as well as the whole world. Tell God your concerns, too, and ask God to give you a good night’s rest!

Helping kids wind down with Bible stories before bedtime teaches them to connect with God, reminding them that God is always with them, from morning until nighttime and even while they sleep. Dwelling on God’s love is the perfect, calming way to end the day and fall asleep in the comfort of God’s love.

Julie LavenderChildren’s Bible Stories for Bedtime

Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore

“I love handling and comparing products at my local Christian bookstore, especially the Bibles. When our church needs a supply of Bibles to give away, we find the quality, pricing and desired details we need with excellent service.”

Janet Chester Bly, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot with Stephen Bly

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