“I told you a hundred times, because I said so!” Arguments around the country end with these statements everyday. Kids stamp off drudgingly to do whatever they have been forced to do while parents pat themselves on the back for standing up for themselves.
Yet, here’s the question. Why?
Why is it that we often don’t answer difficult questions? I know that for me it’s much easier to stomp my foot and emotionally turn anyone from asking why than it is for me to take on the challenge of answering the question.
However, in most of our lives the why questions can’t be so easily answered. How many times has someone presented something about the kingdom of God and you asked, “But why?” only to get an emotionally empowered stamp of the foot and a quick, “Because God said so!”
I don’t know about you, but that just doesn’t cut it for me. God “saying so” may make it exist, but it doesn’t tell me why. Moses pitched a fit with God on the mount and said … “Look J, I’ve seen your acts, I know what things you did… but I’m having a disconnect here. I ain’t been able to figure out for the life of me WHY YOU DID THEM!” I mean, give me a break! Why a burning bush? Why frogs? Why a pillar of fire? Why blow your nose to part the Red Sea? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
Does it ever feel that way in your life? “Why God did this happen to me? Why didn’t you create me different? Why do you let babies die from abortions? Why do children die around the world of starvation? Why can’t I pay my bills on time? Why can’t I communicate with my spouse? Why? Why? Why?”
Let’s pause for a second and think about what our expected answer to these questions is.
1. There are many ways people see God poised to answer these questions. In the South, the very buckle of the “Bible Belt,” it usually goes something like this:
God is standing, perched on the edge of His huge throne, lightening bolt in His right hand, wrath burning in His eyes, and a scale in His left hand. We see Him scream (like our dad used to) “BECAUSE I SAID SO!” After that, we proceed to suddenly be covered with boils, and our entire household is blown away in a matter of seconds.
2. Maybe you didn’t grow up here in the South, and maybe you see God a bit differently. Maybe you see Him as the “Supreme Being.” You ask the question, a heavenly light falls on you from above, a voice rings out from Heaven, and you hear, “You are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased…” (The same way your dad used to always mention ice cream whenever you brought up a difficult question). You smile, happy to know He’s alive and that He loves you… and suddenly all your questions are gone.
3. A few of you may see Him this way instead. You ask the question, and suddenly a butterfly floats by. You smile, realizing that God is speaking to you through some random, abstract metaphor (the same way your dad used to always start talking about football when he was trying to give you an example). You feel small and ignorant in your stupidity and blame yourself for having asked such a dumb question that you now have to listen to a completely irrelevant response to.
Notice the common thread? For most of us, the way our father interacted with us is how we see God, and it shapes our question-asking expectation. Let me just tell you: GOD LOVES QUESTIONS! I mean, how would you feel if you knew everything and no one EVER ASKED YOU A QUESTION?
God isn’t going to kill you for asking difficult questions. Instead, He took Moses up and showed him every last thing that He possibly could and let him in on His WHY! How else do you think Moses was able to write the first five books of the Bible?! Now, we have a born again spirit, and Paul explained that we can now know the unsearchable depths of the spirit! So, don’t be afraid to ask the difficult why questions. While the answer might not be instantaneous, don’t think that God doesn’t want to let you in on it!
We have to enter into the kingdom of God like little children… and it’s the little children who always ask WHY!!!