Answering Why

March 26, 2013
by Martin Wiles

He rose from his seat and scampered to the door to answer an unexpected call. What he heard next would change his life forever: "Mom's not breathing."

Our small church wasn't prepared for the tragedy. Nor was her spouse, child, or parents. Kelley was in the prime of life, soon to reach the 40 milestone, and from all outward appearances, healthy. She was an only child and the mother of an only grandchild soon to celebrate his eleventh birthday. She was a wife celebrating sixteen years of marriage to the man she loved. But everything changed that Sunday night when Kelley died of a massive heart attack. Crowds of mourners packed the mortuary's chapel and waited in line for hours to express sympathy … and perhaps to consider their own mortality.

Tragedies are difficult to prepare for — some more so than others, but God assures us, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you." (Hebrews 13:5b NLT)

Disease, death, and tragedy remind me that I live in a sin-tainted world and experience the far-reaching consequences of the first couple's rebellion. Yet bad things aren't evidence of the absence of God's love. Though I'm unsure why He doesn't rectify every wrong, by faith, I trust that He isn't a capricious, unloving God.

Asking why is typical in tragic occurrences. Jesus Himself did so when hanging on the cross paying for the world's sins:

Matthew 27:46b – "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" (NLT)

I've done it when walking through spiritual, physical, and emotional valleys. Unfortunately, God doesn't normally answer the "Why?" question, but He will show us how to convert our loss, learn from it, and grow through it. We can redeem our losses by reminding ourselves that He's always present with us and that His strength is more than sufficient to carry us through any difficulty that life shoves our way. While beneficial to lean on others, the ultimate, unmovable wall is our faith in God.

Prayer: Sovereign God, we confess our failure to understand the senseless tragedies that sometimes come into our lives, but we trust Your wisdom, and by faith, we rely on You to carry us through the dark valleys. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • The Webmaster says:

    Thank you Martin, words I needed.


    Oh yes — thank you — had to work through this when my hubby died.


    Martin, thank you again for sharing wih us. What an awesome thing you shared. May God continue to bless you and please keep sharing with us.


    Thank you Martin for a cross-examination of turbulence’s.
    Where would we be without God?
    I needed this special devotional and how to get order back to my life.
    Easter makes the world and my life – a brighter place!


    Thanks for your thoughts Martin,
    In our complex we have recently had four deaths; some expected others totally unexpected. Naturally it gave us all time to consider, as you say, “our own mortality”. You devotional covered all the basis one needs in doing so.
    Thank you Martin and the Lord who laid this on your heart.


    Dear Martin,
    This was a sad but important message we can all identify with. Jesus’ example on the cross is a good reminder to trust God even when He allows suffering.
    Blessings.


    Good Morning Martin:
    Such a heart wrenching message, especially for those of us who have lost loved ones in their youthful years. How swiftly our entire lives are altered and changed when God calls one of our loved ones home to be with Him. Some feel they have been robbed or cheated to have been taken from their families and the joy of watching them and their children grow up. However we who say we love and trust our Lord must accept the fact that God in His great judgement knows best and be assured of His precious promise, “I will never fail you or will I ever leave you” in good times and during hurtful devastating times.
    Sometimes, I must admit, I do ask “WHY”, and when I do I am always reminded of the words of my husband, who will say to me when I ask him, “now why did God allow that to happen?” Calmly and so positively he will say, “if we knew why and how, we would have the mind of God. It is not for us to know how or why, but it is for us to trust our Master and know whatever He does is the right thing in the lives of those who love Him.” This I know too, but somehow, (being me,) I would like to know all the answers.
    A great message teaching us to Always Lean On The Everlasting Arms, because they are the Solid Rock.
    A great message, thank you for all your fine messages.

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