When You Ask “Why, God?”
By Dr. Jeff Schreve
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?' that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?'"
We all grieve and mourn the brutal, unimaginable horror that took place at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. A deranged and demonized (if not demon-possessed) gunman shot and killed 26 people and wounded 20 others in the worst church shooting America has ever witnessed. The loss of life and utter decimation to individual families and the church family at large are simply heartbreaking to contemplate.
In times like this, we naturally ask, “Why, God? What gives here? These people were worshiping You, and they were senselessly and viciously gunned down in cold blood. I cannot understand why, on earth or in heaven, You would have allowed this to happen.”
You know, it is normal and natural to ask God why. Jesus asked why when He was on the cross, dying for the sins of the world. We just need to know that God does not often answer our question of why. He is not in the business of explaining. He is in the business of sustaining. We will probably never know the answer to our whys this side of heaven. But, what we can know and cling to are these truths:
God is good.
God is love.
God is perfect.
God is in control.
God never makes a mistake.
God cares for us.
God allows things to happen in life that don’t make sense to us … but they do make sense to Him. His understanding compared to our understanding is like the Pacific Ocean compared to a tea cup. When we ask God our why questions, His response is typically something akin to this, “My child, you would not understand even if I explained it to you. (Our teacup minds cannot begin to contain the enormity of the Pacific Ocean.) So how about this: just trust Me.”
TRUST AND PRAY
In the midst of this tragedy, may we trust God and pray that He would use this somehow and some way to further His Kingdom. May He use this as an opportunity for people like you and me to have spiritual conversations with those who do not know Christ. May we be faithful to pray for the families of those killed … and for the church, the pastor and the entire community. May we remember that this fallen world is not our home. We are citizens of heaven who are to hold all things loosely while on this earth. Nothing really belongs to us, not even our own children. Everything belongs to God — “Behold, all souls are Mine” (Ezekiel 18:4). We are simply the managers of His stuff. May we manage well, trusting Him to do “all things well” and “work all things together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Editor’s Note: This post is adapted from "Why, God?" by From His Heart Ministries by Pastor Jeff Schreve.