We can ponder it over and over again until our mind is numb from contemplating it.
We can ask our family members, friends, neighbors, even the internet yet still find no answer.
We can cry over it. Scream about it. Rail against it.
We can spout all the platitudes like ‘everything happens for a reason’ or we can just buck up, batten down the hatches, and believe what Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote, “Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die” and accept those sayings as truth.
Yet an answer for that why still eludes us.
We can even earnestly petition God in prayer and ask Him over and over, “Why?” And still find no reason surfaces to placate our mind-boggling query. We just have to remind ourselves that even if we don’t get an answer, the Lord still listens to our prayers and answers them according to His will not ours.
The great Christian writer C.S. Lewis also tackled the problem of why things happen the way they do when he wrote, “The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.”
Life just doesn’t seem fair. Ask Calvin and Hobbes. The cartoonist Bill Watterson penned this quote in one of his comic strips: “I know the world isn’t fair, but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favor?”
I’ve come to the realization that the question really shouldn’t be ‘why?’ Instead perhaps we should ask, “Why not?”
Our self-centeredness feeds us the lie that the world revolves around us. Plans should occur just the way we want. We are entitled to get what we want, when we want it, how we want it. Instant gratification because we deserve it!
Let’s face it, in this day and age our focus is totally centered on self. We dress for self, undergo plastic surgery for self, purchase cars and homes for self, whiten our teeth, dye our hair, tan our bodies, all to satisfy self.
Because our self-image seems like the most important thing. It’s what gets us the most lucrative job, the handsome/beautiful spouse, the façade of success. Or so we think. At least that’s what society has taught us and we’ve bought into it, taken the bait, hook, line, and sinker.
But that’s not how real life works. Reality is so much different. Reality shows us that life is downright difficult at times. Bad things do happen to good people. Terrible occurrences befall even the most devout and faithful believers in Christ.
People lose jobs, they are diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses, their marriages fail, accidents happen, homes are lost to natural disasters, loved ones die unexpectedly or too young, and yes, even we must face our own deaths eventually.
The worst times of our lives don’t happen because we’ve done something to warrant trying times, it’s just the way life is. I hate to burst your bubble but we really are not promised a rose garden in this lifetime.
We’re not guaranteed perpetually sunny days with no troubles, no calamities, no gut-wrenching events to endure in this world. No, sometimes we just have to face the full force of the storm and hang on for dear life. And there’s One to hang on to.
Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33 (NIV)
See that’s where our hope lies. Not in this world and all its trappings. Our hope is in something, some ONE that is eternal. The Savior of the world. And when I think of all He left behind in heaven to purposely come to this world and willingly suffer horribly for me, my troubles seem minuscule.
And I have to ask myself, “Why NOT me?” If my Savior suffered the torture of the cross just for me (and you), then why do I think I’m so very special that I should not have to bear a few burdens myself?
“God knows what we are going through when we grieve, and He wants to assure us of His love and concern. He also wants us to turn to Him and bring our heartaches and burdens to Him.” ~ Billy Graham