At a recent Bible study, we delved into an honest heart-to-heart conversation revolving around one word: Why? We were studying Hosea, and had discussed how God had lured his people into the desert, the wilderness, the place of infertility, in order to redeem her. He stripped his people of good things so that she would know Him as the source of those good things.
Why is it that God has to break us before he heals us? And why does that breaking have to hurt so much?
Wrestling with this one worded question can harden a soul to the point of bitterness. Or it can harden a soul into a fierce gripping faith in the goodness of God.
How do we come to terms with the fact that God is beyond our understanding. The paradox is, God doesn’t hide himself. He sent his Son to take on flesh so that we might know him. Really, truly know him with an intimacy that goes beyond our human relationships. He took the initiative to come to us. He took the nails.
But eventually, every Christian comes to the place of why. We come to the end of our mental capacity and must wave the white flag. We don’t get why God has written history as he has. Why God has allowed something to happen, or not healed, saved, protected, guided, given…..as we think He should.
If we let it, this question can choke our joy and squeeze the life right out of our souls. Which is why in the same breath we utter, “Why?” we must also cry out what we know, “You are good. You are sovereign. You are just. You created all things and in you all things hold together. You have ultimate victory over sin and death and hell. You hold my heart in your hands.”
Some of us are Questioners. The questions will call us from sleep and pound us at night. Others of us are Answerers. The questions swirl in our minds, but they don’t plague us. We rest in the answers we know (or think we know).
How about you? Are you a Questioner or an Answerer? When was the last time that question of “Why?” cut open your heart and bled out your hope? And how has Jesus met you there? Because be assured, Jesus wants to meet you there.