Today, October 22, 2017 we listened to an interesting discussion by the Discover the Word team of Haddon Robinson, Alice Matthews, and Mart Dehaan about how we handle our “Why” questions to God when we are (1) at a loss to understand them ourselves and, (2) wonder if even God cares.
Haddon quotes Martin Luther who said: “If we are going to be people of faith, we need to be able to crucify the question ‘Why’.” What do we suppose Luther meant by that?
The conversation starts out in a way that seems to disagree with what Luther said, but ends up understanding and agreeing with him. It turns out that there are different kinds of “Why” questions and Luther was referencing the kind of questions that bring about arrogance on our part. These kinds of questions demand of God that He explain to us exactly what He is up to in a situation such as the death of a child, multiple deaths and destruction in a natural disaster, etc. In other words, we say to God “Explain to me why you allow this to happen, and if you don’t explain it to my satisfaction, then I’m outta here!” The created takes on the role of judge and jury as it relates to the Creator, and this arrogance is what leads us to some very sour conclusions, and even doubt, as to whether our Creator cares or even exists. This is the kind of “Why” questions that Luther is talking about which he says “must be crucified”, or it will destroy us.
If we recognize this, then our faith can grow when we admit that there are things going on in the universe that we can’t explain and we just have to let it go. We should never get to the place where we demand from God that He answer us, because God has never promised us answers… but He promises Himself. Sometimes we simply need to say “there may be an answer but I don’t know what it is. Lord, I don’t know, but I trust You… I will simply leave this question with You.”
Here is a link to today’s discussion.