The popular question of why is often left unanswered. Learn how we should deal with God's answers or lack thereof.
Below is a personal letter I wrote to the Lord years ago when I was going through something quite traumatic. Some parts are still obviously my younger self speaking but I didn't want to edit it because I love the raw emotion the Holy Spirit helped me express at the time. The letter reminds me of a Psalm of David that starts in total desperation in the middle of battle then ends with the final relief of knowing that God is bigger than all.
Today we are dealing with so much right now with so little ability for physical comfort. Loneliness, anxiety, depression have never been so high. Yet I hope these words encourage you not only to know that it's okay to feel doubtful and maybe even confused with God:
WHY is a question that every human being on this earth asks you at some point. It’s always followed by their own individual issue and situation; why did my parents leave me? Why was I born in this country? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why was I born this way? Why am I sick? Why am I in this marriage? [Why did COVID-19 happen?]
And let’s be honest, Lord, nine times out of ten you never answer that question. At least not directly. And that in itself ends up raising even more whys.
Just like many, I have one particular why question I’ve asked you for the past fifteen or so years of my life. And even though there are times when I understand that knowing the reason isn’t going to make me better, the question still arises.
This is the first time I’ve ever openly told you, God, that I’m… angry, disappointed that you still haven’t answered me. I thought writing it would make it easier to say to you but actually it turns out it makes it more final -- bringing even more truth to it. And I still feel guilty. I feel bad for asking you, not because you wouldn’t understand or because I’m afraid you’ll hate me after—that is not who you are --- but because I know you know better than I do. I just don't understand why trusting that isn't enough.
No matter how hard and how much I wish to know this, I’m almost always too afraid to truly ask you and demand that answer, hence why you probably never gave it to me: perhaps deep down, I don’t truly want to know.
There’s a song called Why God* that inspired me today. It’s made me realise the real meaning of the act of understanding. What it means not to know and not understand why all things happen, why this world is the way it is, but to lead that understanding to you rather than the why. My favourite line of the song is: 'You are always by my side, even here in the why'.
I forget and refuse to accept that even in these moments of why and how could you, you are still by my side: and you’re so vibrant and beautiful. You may be sitting there quietly. But you are listening. You are blessing. You have an open arm of compassion and comfort and you help me understand, like the song says, why I need you.
You are not someone to be blamed. You hold no blame and even suggesting that some type of blame should be handed to you is preposterous. That is like saying a rat on the floor wants to ask its owner why he’s not doing enough to take care of it. What does the rat know about care, about true compassion and the genuine ability to take care of someone?
So today, I look to you, instead of pointing self-pity arrows at my own self.
Even the slightest sight of your presence makes me shiver, it makes my eyes tear and my heart leap. Pronouncing your name has my body drowning in emotion from utter surrender and humility to pure exhilaration.
Not many will understand this, but that’s okay, because it’s you and me. When I look at you, when I think of what you mean to me, I don’t see Christianity, or religion, and I certainly don’t see the same God that’s painted in Catholic churches or the God of thunder and lightning that some refer to you as. When I look at you, I see just you and me. It’s like you’re all mine. It sounds ridiculous but I feel like you are my God. Not a god, or the god. You are mine. Just like I am yours.
I don’t belong to my parents, I don’t belong to a group in society, and I certainly won’t belong to a future husband. I don’t even belong to myself. You are the one I belong to. I am fully and completely yours. You are the one that made me, and you are all I want to be.
I am so deeply in love with you, Lord. So deep in fact, that I don’t know who I would be if you didn’t frame my being, colour in my existance or manifest yourself in my thoughts.
When I laugh, I shout praises to you. When I cry, I run to your arms. When I’m stressed, I seek for your peace. When I’m distracted by this world, I desperately ask for your joy to return. Who am I, if I do not have my Jesus to define me?
I am a girl, a woman, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a writer, an artist, but above all this and inside each one, I am a child of God.
My whole life I’ve been a seeker: a seeker of more. More books to read, more stories to write, more opportunities to change my life, more places to see, more people to meet, more answers, more knowledge to gain, more growth. Now there’s no reason to seek them all individually like I used to when I was younger. You hold and provide all of them at once.
Therefore, I don’t understand the why to this life, the why to my own prolonged physical pain and anguish, I don’t understand the why to how my family or friends are torn down by struggle after struggle. But one thing I do understand is that I need you, Lord. I’d rather sit by your side, with you as silent as you could ever be and keep asking that question instead of searching for it in the outside world, where there is no permanent comfort, constant mercy and grace, where there is no ceaseless, vigorous and infinite love.
Yet again, I stand at this crossroads where I choose to see life and my unanswered questions as mere tools for the future and preparation for extravagant blessing up ahead. As the Bible puts it, “consider it pure joy (…) whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)
Life and the devil will certainly keep tugging on that belief I have, and I don’t doubt that there will come another day when I will feel helpless and alone. It may be in a month’s time, or a year, or even tomorrow. But I know that no matter what, you, my God, will lead me back to hope, back to trust and pure joy. The faith I have that you can heal, fix and restore and that you have a reason behind it all will lead me to perseverance and such wisdom that my way of life will forever be changed.