Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? Maybe you lost the business deal you were really hoping to get… Or you were betrayed by a close friend or family member? Maybe cancer was involved?
It’s amazing how we run toward God during those seasons and beg him for the answers.
Let me paint the same scenario with different characters and see how you would respond.
You’re a father and you and your son are riding bikes in your neighborhood. After you round the corner of your street, ahead you see a big downhill stretch. As the two of you begin the descent you notice your son, enjoying the ride, is picking up speed. Being cautious, you brake slightly to not gain too much speed, but your son (now quite a bit in front of you, nearly at the bottom of the hill) is beginning to reach an uncontrollable speed. Out of the newfound thrill for speed, he doesn’t realize exactly how fast he is going and as he turns his head to see if you’re as excited as he is, his bike follows his head and plummets to the ground.
You watch with your very own eyes (as if it were in slow motion) your son slide across the pavement with the bike on top of him. It seems like he slides for miles. You cringe because you know the hurt and pain he is feeling. And he begins to cry. In fact he begins to scream a piercing scream that causes shivers to run through your body.
You finally reach him, after what feels like an eternity as you watched the entire catastrophe in front of you. You pick him up and hug him like crazy and say “I love you son, it’s going to be okay”
Through his sobering tears he attempts to ask a question. Though its tough to hear through his screaming, crying and uncontrollable whimpers, he asks “why did this happen dad?”
You simply respond, “it’s going to be okay. I love you! Lets head home okay?”
Your son continues to ask the question, Why? Why? Why?
Now you have a choice on how to answer the question. You could answer with:
“Well son, there’s this thing called momentum and gravity. When those two combine, you get centrifical force that pulls you toward the center of your momentum. Your speed coming down that hill caused your body, when the bike turned, to loose control due to momentum, a theory created by W.J.M. Rankine in 1865. . Once you hit the ground, friction, which is the act of two things causing a pull in opposite directions, cause your skin to rub against the pavement like sandpaper rubs against a piece of rock. This friction caused many multiple lacerations on the surface of your skin. Those lacerations caused blood and nerve endings to be severed which forced the pain receptors in your head to alert your body of intense and severe pain…”
You get the point. You’re more aware of what your son needs in that moment than an elaborate description of how gravity, friction and momentum work. He just needs to know you are with him and you are present.
The story I just shared is a lot like the story you and I are in when were asking God all the questions we ask in times of sadness and hurt. We always ask God why things are happening the way they are.
God doesn’t want to give us the answer because He knows the thing we need most is a giant hug and to hear the statement “it’s going to be okay, I’m here and I love you.”
God knows we don’t want the real answer at the time of pain because it will cause distance.
We want love and He wants to hold us.
So the next time you cry out to God asking for the answer to “why did this happen” be ready for him to wrap His heavenly arms around you and tell you He loves you.