“Why ….?” is the first question we ask God

Every day, we have to face a challenge, an obstacle, a roadblock, a problem, which frankly, just isn’t fair or it seems as though God wouldn’t or shouldn’t put that in front of us; especially as we are His children. Sometimes we face the same thing for an extended period of time, and it wears us down. Soon we are asking God the question, “Why this? Why me? Why are you allowing this to happen?”

The truth is, we are not asking the right question. The Lord allows problematic situations to arise in our lives, in the lives of our loved ones, and in this world. What He is looking for is not for us to question His motive, but for us to ask Him something entirely different: “What …?”

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Isaiah 26:3

Asking God this question of “What?” means we are viewing it differently. We are actively trusting the Lord for an outcome that we believe He is willing to do, and it can be for good.
Here are some questions that might better serve you in serving the Lord:

  1. What do you want me to do about it?
  2. What are you trying to teach me?
  3. What is my role in this?
  4. What is your purpose?
  5. What can I do to be your hands or feet or mouth here?

“Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
John 6:28

This is all about perspective. If we see the issue before us as negative or hurtful or threatening, then we are being selfish in our viewpoint. If we choose to see it as a possibility to do something good, or to learn from it, or to give God the credit, then it can be something used for good and for God’s glory. In our choosing to ask “What, God?” rather than “Why, God?”, we show the Father that we trust His purposes, rather than our own world desire of not going through it because it is too difficult. For this heart posture, no doubt He is deeply pleased.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

When Saul, who had been torturing followers and believers in Jesus – those that were a part of The Way – he honestly believed in his heart he was doing the right thing for God. But, Jesus chose to use him for good, and met him on the road to Damascus. After Jesus’ glory blinded Saul, instead of asking “Why me?”, the only thing he could say was, “What should I do, Lord?’ “And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything you are to do.’
Acts 22:10

This is how we should respond to Jesus. Our question of ‘why’ may never be answered in this life as Saul’s was. Our question of ‘what’ will always be answered, making our actions and the heavenly domino effect that follows them the good that comes from the bad, and the rainbow that comes from the storm.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Food for thought: When is the last time you made the conscious decision to NOT ask ‘why‘, but instead asked the Lord “What…?”

Fun facts: There are 6 key types of questions that we learn to ask: who, what, when, where, and why, and how.
Here are some fun questions to ask:
1. Who was your first crush?
2. What was the last meal you burned?
3. When did you sing in the shower last?
4. Where did you live at age 5? Address?
5. Why are you still reading these silly questions?
6. How come you’re not reading your Bible instead?

Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Barbed Wire and Thistles

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