When Christians ask why

For a time, my soul cried out.

Why? Why Mattias? Why my baby? He was such a good boy. So sweet. So happy. Why?”

And there were those who answered.

“Jesus just needed your baby boy more than you did.”

“The Lord needed that smile to brighten Heaven.”

“God was short an angel.”

“Isn’t it an honor — a compliment — a privilege — that God deems you worthy of this trial?”

I never know how to respond to these insights into the ways of God. I prefer wrestling with why. It isn’t such a faith shattering question that it needs to be swept under the rug. Crying out why does not mean that our faith is weak, nor that we have placed ourselves in judgment of God.

“Why?” is a statement of belief.

Else why would we ask Him anything at all?

It is a recognition of His power and presence in our lives

We know what He could have done. We just don’t understand why He didn’t.

It is a recognition that God is good.

That is why it is so difficult to reconcile the death of a loved one with what we know about God. But from the depths of my being, I am plagued with a feeling that This. Just. Isn’t. Right. It hurts, not just emotionally, but physically. It leaves me nauseous and makes breathing difficult. My limbs feel heavy, as if they’ve turned to lead. This is not the way it was supposed to be.

And it isn’t. In six days, God created a world of beauty, hope and perfect communion with Him. That was destroyed by sin, and death entered the world. Today, our lives are for the most part pretty easy. Life expectancy has increased so much in the last 100 years that you can conceivably reach retirement without losing anyone closer to you than a grandparent. What we consider trials are often really no more than annoyances.

Amidst our taken-for-granted blessings, we forget that all of creation groans under the weight of the penalty of sin.

Until it touches us and we groan alongside it.

Until it touches us and we realize this is not the way it was supposed to be.

Until it touches us and we cry out, “Why?”


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Amy
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When I struggled with the loss of a child (not my child) And I asked God why, people didn’t like it. It made them uncomfortable when I expressed that I was mad at God – and that I told Him I was mad at Him. They told me that God needed the child in heaven. I’ve never believed that for a second. God doesn’t NEED children in Heaven, or another angel so badly that He takes a child. People didn’t want to hear me talk like that. But like you, I saw it as faith in God. I felt comfortable… Read more »
Maggie Hogan
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Well put. And yes – asking Why DOES remind us that this is not our real home and that we live in a broken world and we have a new heaven and new earth to look forward to.
I have heard people make those very same responses you mention and I cringe every time… well meaning, but really?!

Thanks for continuing your blog, even through the very darkest hours. You are blessing many and giving encouragement along the way.

And to Amy [posted above] YES! And this song always blesses me – especially during the trials.
Maggie

Susan White
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Dear Dana, God was ready to take Mattias home to be with Him. I have to say: Matthias is better than an angel. He has more privileges in Heaven than the angels do. Now he is, “Higher than the angels”. Someday, you will see him there with God and will be so bursting with joy that the grief you are having now will not even be a memory. I am praying for you almost every day and am reminded to pray every day for you. I hope you are healing well. My grief is in a lost child here on… Read more »
Jen
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I used to tell my therapist it’s just not natural, my kids deaths are just not ordinary deaths, so I really hear and understand what you’re saying Dana.

It is perfectly understandable to question; I am not sure “why” God allows the death of our children it is a great mystery of our faith.

The important thing to remember is He was with you son when his time came, and whenever you’re suffering He’s by your side.

Linda
Guest
Dana, Been praying at night when all is quiet here and my mind becomes fully aware that all has changed for you in a turn–a corner. It can all change for anyone of us in a turn. All, but Jesus. He just doesn’t shift. Asking Jesus to carry you and yours and ours and theirs through this place until we are able to truly see His face and Mattias’. It’s a reality–heaven. My question is often why God has us “filling up in our flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His body,… Read more »
Phyllis
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Well put, Dana.

Dana
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I sort of figured that if Christ cried out on the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” that crying out “Why?” was not such a great sin. Many in the bible have cried out to the Lord. A wise person told me early on (I wish I could remember who) told me that when I felt angry, I should bring it to God. Shout at him, plead with him, let it out. I wouldn’t be the first and I won’t be the last. And it was far healthier than taking it to friends and family where… Read more »
Alison
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You have some really great insights. And no I don’t consider it a priviledge that you have had the opportunity to get that insight. But honestly, Tiggy’s death shocked me into realizing how cushy sweet my world is. Suddenly the EXTREME suffering that is EVERYWHERE seemed to be magnified… because it COULD happen to me. I started to watch a documentary about Darfur and couldn’t continue. The thought of thousands of Haitian children dying from cholera, watching family members and all your earthly belongings being washed out to sea in Japan, being an innocent citizen of Libya caught between waring… Read more »
Howard
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Yes, the Psalms are full of the question Why? And sometimes we even get an answer. It may only be the answer Job got .. when you are powerful enough to make your own universe out of nothing, God says, then we will talk as equals. Until then, you must trust Him. That would have to be a thoroughly unsatisfying answer, except for who He is. He may not be “safe” but He is trustworthy.

sarah
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God created the human heart with an immense variety of emotions. I can’t imagine he would be surprised or disappointed that we would express them! I’ve certainly expressed my share of negative emotions to God! I don’t believe that God causes awful things like this. I don’t believe he “collects” children or parents of young kids for his needs – he doesn’t need any of us! He desires our love and worship, but does not NEED us. These tragedies are the result of living in a fallen world. What we as Christians are called to believe is that God can… Read more »
Q
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Because his days were numbered, just like yours are, just like mine are. I know ~ not what we want to hear. I was blessed to not struggle with the ‘why’ very much. I know I did not create Alex, God did. She was His creation to do with as He pleased. Just to encourage you, though, Alexandrea’s death brought myself and her dad to Christ. Our next daughter was born into a Christian home. After some marital hell (divorce) I remarried, and my husband then converted from Catholicism. Our daughter has been raised in a godly home from birth.… Read more »
Dana
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I didn’t struggle with it “that” much. It was there. But the questioning ceased and rested. I don’t know that it is that comforting to anyone but me, but “The rain falls on the just and the unjust.” I have an easier time accepting, “It just happened,” than that it happened to bring about some specific good.

Spunky
Guest

Well said and thank you for helping me today with this thoughtful post.

Summer
Guest

Well said indeed!

kathy
Guest

So painfully good Dana. Groan. Long. Wait. Ache.

“The rain falls on the just and the unjust.” I have an easier time accepting, “It just happened,” than that it happened to bring about some specific good.”

I myself have sat in the same question. Sometimes I feel like it depends upon the circumstance as to where my ‘theology’ falls. Which thus means, I have no idea.

I join in with with ache in the journey.

Much love.

Susan Beth
Guest

Bless you in the asking of “Why?” – it is a legitimate question! And the wisdom in your reasoning about a world filled with sin may be the closest we come to an answer this side of heaven.

Jacque
Guest
Excellent post, Dana. I prefer to know(meaning, in my human frailty, that I TRY to remember) that his ways are not mine, and his thoughts are much higher than mine ever will be. After all, he IS God/Elohim, not me. This is so well-said: “What we consider trials are often really no more than annoyances.” It hurts. It isn’t fair. It isn’t expected. It isn’t fun. It isn’t pretty. It’s just life. Not the life we would ever choose…. EVER. For anyone. But, the Father knows. We don’t. All I can do is say how incredibly heartbroken and sad I… Read more »
Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight
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Again, you bring me back to the painful truth of my petulance. Yes, my trials are generally little more than irritations. O, that I would learn to cherish these lives before me!
Thank you for your honest heart, and for sharing it with us.
Teri

Jennifer
Guest
I sometimes ask, “Why?” Our Weeble was such a sweet, happy boy. He was so beloved. Why did he die so young? But mostly I am stuck in a more defiant mode, still saying, “NO! Not my baby!” which is what came forth in my panic the day of his death. I was cutting potatoes for dinner last night and found myself crying and saying, “No, not my baby” and wanting to throw potatoes across the kitchen. I don’t believe that God caused the death of our children. But I am angry that he didn’t stop it from happening. I… Read more »
Kara at The Chuppies
Guest

Exactly.
Let Him lead me…in His time…to the place when I will say:
“God is good always.”

I appreciate this post very much Dana.
Thank you…