The “Why” Question


When it comes to experiencing a tragic, sudden death of a loved one, it's okay to ask, "Why, God?" as long as we don't expect an answer.

Hardly a day goes by now that I don’t speak with or hear from someone who has lost a loved one through death.

I suppose that they believe I will have answers for them because it has happened to our family. I do know that I listen more and say less to people when they tell me their story.

One Sunday at church, I was asked if I would address a few young teens who were in great pain after the tragic and sudden death of a family they all knew. As it turned out, about 20 of them crowded into our prayer room at Harvest and I shared a few things I had learned.

Then I asked them to speak up with their questions. It wasn’t long before one of them asked the question that is asked perhaps more than any other when a loved one is taken from us unexpectedly: Why?

That, of course, is a very hard question to answer. I’m not so sure that we would be satisfied, if God were to give us the answer. I’m sure we would argue or not agree.

Let me share something that my son Jonathan recently wrote on this question:

I know, in my life, that the Lord has used my brother’s departure to heaven to bring me to Him. Would I have chosen this way for the Lord to get my attention? Absolutely not, but I stopped asking why a long time ago.

I think it’s okay to ask, “Why, God?” as long as we don’t expect an answer. Instead, I began asking “What, God? What am I to do as a result of this?” And I have found the best answer is to commit myself wholly to Him, and to help further His kingdom.

I know that’s what Christopher would want me to do, and I know that’s what the Lord would also want.


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