Pastor Dick Nichols
Cedar Creek Community Church
2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta
“Why” is one of the most puzzling words in our language. It isn’t generally the first word a baby learns to say, but just wait, it will become one of the most used words you will hear throughout the years of raising a child, and especially from our grandchildren. And because of our inquisitive nature, it seems that “why” remains with us through the rest of our lives. Having just completed a memorial service, it is a fresh reminder to me of how many times I have heard this short question inserted into all types of conversations.
Why do people ask why?
As children, this world is a place of wonderment that really needs to be discovered. The word “why” is our most functional approach to learning new things, and when we process the answer, (if we get one,) we can then decide to pursue “why” deeper (which is the beginning of innovation) or let it go for now. And there is no doubt in my mind that our great nation has benefitted since its founding by the question “why can’t we?” Thus, this little word that can sometimes be so annoying when we hear it over and over, is definitely advantageous to all of us individually and as a nation.
Sometimes though, the why of it isn’t really what we want to know even though we may ask anyway. I believe that as we get older, the question why becomes more like the examples we see in the Bible, meaning that we are mostly interested in finding out whose fault it is.
Our faith contains many examples of people who asked this question. Think of the trials of Job in the Old Testament, loss of health, the loss of all his children, along with his material wealth, left him in a position of asking God why. He had the counsel of his wife and his friends, which in the end they were merely trying to establish that it was Job’s fault, that he had somehow done something that had really gotten God ticked off. Ultimately Job asked God why, and surprisingly God answered him. God’s statement to Job is what we really need to hear. Simply put, in my paraphrase, God said, “God is God. Job, you’re not God, so trust me.” Yes, sometimes that is it.
Jesus was told of the atrocities that were taking place under Pilate (Luke 13:1-5 KJV). Jesus knew what the underlying question was (it was why) and replied “Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower of Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Stuff happens in life. Bad things and good things happen to everyone, and yes there are times we can easily identify why. Jesus’ point to us is that there is something more important than the things that happen to us while we’re here on earth. The prophet Isaiah states “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6 KJV)
Life is not to be understood, any more than God can be fully understood. There is a peace to be found in Jesus Christ, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27 KJV)
That is why!