When events happen in our own lives, we want to understand. We want to make sense of things. From personal matters like the loss of a job or the death of a child to philosophical complaints like the existence of evil or the unfairness of life, we want to ask God, “Why?” If we knew the why we could rest.
Sometimes we hear that we will understand it all once we get to heaven.
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut. 29:29, NKJV)
My wife is an inquisitive person. I’ve often told her that she missed her calling as an investigative reporter. Like a surgeon who cuts away at a tumor until she finds tissue free of cancer, my wife will question until she is satisfied that there is no more to be discovered.
For example, I will tell her that I heard people we know are moving. She’ll explore the where, the when and the why, sometimes from a variety of directions. Only in assuring herself that my words, “I don’t know,” are legitimate will she be satisfied. I love her for her interest in people and zest for life.
We can do the same in our walk with God. When events happen in our own lives, we want to understand. We want to make sense of things. From personal matters like the loss of a job or the death of a child to philosophical complaints like the existence of evil or the unfairness of life, we want to ask God, “Why?” If we knew the why we could rest.
But could we? Why do we ask why? It could be to satisfy curiosity or a compulsion to connect the dots. But it could also be something more problematic, where we the creature want to call God to account, to bring Him under our judgment. Our children do that. They ask why often with the intent of finding a foothold to make their case.
Job wanted to question God. He wanted to summon God to explain Himself. When God did present Himself, it was not to answer Job’s questions. It was to remind Job who was who. Job’s response in the face of the glory of God was to cover his mouth. He gained a renewed appreciation of God as Creator, himself as creature, and himself in relation with God (Job 42:1-6).