When I was trying to think of an article topic I was having some trouble. My dad was able to help me though. He told me that he preaches about what applies to his life. It made me think about what is currently going on in my life. Being a preacher’s daughter I have moved a lot in my lifetime. I recently found out that I am going to be moving again. It’s not fun, and it’s hard to understand. The hardest part for me to understand is why. Why is this happening again? Why do we have to deal with this? There are many things that happen that leave us wondering why. We wonder why when a loved one dies. We wonder why when someone gets cancer or another disease. We wonder why when someone loses a job. There must be a reason for all of these things to happen, right?
I can’t help but think about how Job went through so much. In chapter 1 of Job he lost all of his livestock and his children. If that wasn’t enough in chapter 2 he lost his health and his wife. After these two chapters he was left with no livelihood, no health, and without his wife and children. One of these alone would be considered a devastating loss. I can just imagine Job asking “why?!” In the Jewish culture they believed that if something bad happened to you it meant you had sinned and were being punished by God. This is exactly how Job’s friends reacted to his devastating situation. They automatically assumed that Job had done something wrong; we sometimes do the same thing.
“There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1).
One of the main reactions that we have is, “God what did I do wrong?” Job wasn’t perfect. We know he sinned, but we also know that his sin wasn’t the reason for what he went through. God allowed Satan to test Job because of Job’s faith. God knew that Job wouldn’t sin against Him and He wanted to show that to Satan. Sometimes the hard things cause your faith to shine. It’s not because you are an evil, awful person. My family and I like to listen to a band called Fall Out Boy. In one of their songs, called Immortals, the lyrics say, ” sometimes the only payoff for having any faith is when it’s tested again and again everyday.” I feel like this is very true. You see what really drives a person when they are going through hard times. You can see if they really mean what they say when it’s put to the test; if they are really and truly living for God, if they follow His commandments.
Take Elijah for example. In 1 Kings 18 he takes on the prophets of Baal and they are killed. Because of this, Jezebel starts trying to kill him in retaliation. He runs away and hides in a cave, feeling all alone. He tells God, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:14). He sees himself as the only one standing for God and then he gets persecuted for that. He felt alone because he was the only one doing what God wanted. I can see him asking God “Why? Why, after all that I have done? Why must I do this alone?”
There are times when, like Elijah, we feel as if we are alone. We are the only ones that know what this feels like. No one can help because they don’t know. That is not always the case. Many people have lost loved ones, lost possessions, moved, lost jobs, etc… We might be the only ones going through it at the time, but others have experience in the same situation. When you feel alone you feel as if you only have your strength to rely on. Everyone is strong, but no one, except God, can be strong all of the time. When you are alone you can fall into the trap of feeling like you have no one to help you and no one to lean on. This can lead to us asking, “Why me?” When bad stuff happened to the people in the Bible I can see them asking “why me?” Like when Abraham was commanded to sacrifice Isaac, or when Samson was betrayed by Delilah, or even when Noah was ridiculed for building the ark. There are so many people that had things happen to them and sometimes, like Abraham they didn’t know why.
I mentioned Noah a little bit ago. Noah had to endure years of ridicule for obeying God. That wouldn’t have been easy. He knew why he had to listen to God: if he didn’t then he and his family would die. That doesn’t mean enduring the ridicule and completing the ark was easier for him to do. It is possible that Noah might have felt worse about the situation because he knew that almost everyone he knew was going to die and if he wasn’t able to do what God wanted then he and his family were going to die with everyone else.
We like to know stuff. It is part of us. Kids want to know what their Christmas presents are, adults like to know everything. We have to be careful to not let this affect our faith. Yes we are going to ask questions, and that is good, but we can’t get caught up asking questions. There will be times when we get answers. It might happen then and there, or it might happen later in our lives. Other times we won’t know why it happened, ever. Scripture tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9 that God has some plans that are higher than we can understand. So when we ask questions, when we wonder why, we need to remember that while we may not know, everything is going to be ok because God knows.
By Re’Elle Crowell