As I have talked with people about their problems as well as when I think of my own experiences with suffering, I have discovered a universal truth. It doesn’t seem to matter who you are or what you’re facing, when in the midst of our toughest trials or our most brutal spiritual battles one question seems to constantly be at the front of our minds. That question? Why? Why, Lord? Why me? Why us? Why now? WHY? Most never really understand the answer. It is one of the hardest questions to have left unanswered. Somehow, suffering seems easier to accept if we just know why we must bear it. We just need it to make sense. We need to know there is a purpose. We need to know that we aren’t hurting in vain. We need to know that it’s not just a chance occurrance but is, instead, a part of some great master plan and that, in the end, will somehow benefit us.
Of course, when our world begins to crumble around us, one of the most used phrases of those who would comfort us is, “Everything happens for a reason.” We may actually be comforted by those words IF we had the slightest hint of what that reason could be.
This reminds me of highschool algebra. Not the suffering… okay, maybe suffering does remind me of algebra. But seriously, I hated highschool algebra. It made absolutely no sense to me at all how in the world I was supposed to add the alphabet with a number and come up with any answer at all. I needed to know why. Why are the letters X and Y in my math problem? Why does the letter ‘A’ equal five? I realize that to most people algebra is no big deal. But for me it was more confusing than boys. I think I could have endured the class and maybe even made a decent grade if I had ever understood why letters had anything to do with numeric values. But I never did.
We may still have a hard time during our trials but I believe we would find ourselves better euipped to handle them if we just knew why.
There was a man in Jesus’ time who had a big problem. He was blind. He was born that way. The first question the desciples asked upon encountering him was, “Why? Why, Jesus, was this man born blind? Did he sin? Was it his mother and father who sinned? Is that why he was born this way?”
This time the question was not left unanswered. Jesus told them why. The man’s sin had not caused his blindness. How could it? He was born that way. What could an unborn child possibly do to deserve a lifetime of blindness? Neither had his parents’ sin caused it. The Lord had already declaired that children would not bear the punishment for their parents’ sin (see Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:19-20). So why? Why was this man born blind? Let’s read the passage for the answer.
1 AS HE passed along, He noticed a man blind from his birth. 2 His disciples asked Him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind? 3 Jesus answered, It was not that this man or his parents sinned, but he was born blind in order that the workings of God should be manifested (displayed and illustrated) in him. John 9:1-2 Amplified Bible (emphesis mine)
Wow! It wasn’t about sin at all. It was no one’s fault! This man was blind only so that Jesus could encounter him on that day and heal him. He was blind for the sole purpose of bringing glory to his creator!
What about you? Do you think your trials have ever glorified the Father? Doesn’t that make it all worth it in the end?
When we suffer, we spend a great amount of time and energy trying to figure out the answer to the question of, “Why?” We think of everything. Are we being punished? What did we do? Is God mad at us? If so, Why? There’s that question again. We can’t seem to get away from it! It’s always there, tormenting us. Like an itch that can’t be reached. It begins to torment us to the point that the “Why” becomes just as painful as the original problem!
But you know what? The “why” doesn’t really matter. The fact is that we have trials. We have tests. We have problems. As long as there is sin in the world, there will be pain. We will suffer. What is important to know is that our loving Heavenly Father knows our pain. And He knows all the answers to every question that we could ever dream up. He may not share those answers with us every time we ask. But He knows. And we know that He loves us more than we could ever comprehend. We know that He sees every tear. We know that we can never experience anything that He won’t be able to empathize with. He’s been where we are! We know that He is in complete control. We know that He plans to give us a hope and a future and to bring us good and not bad all the days of our lives (see Jeremiah 29:11). We know that he is always with us, no matter how alone we feel. We know that he can carry our heaviest burdens and offers us rest from the troubles of this painful world. We know that there will always be trouble and pain in this world. But we know that He has overcome the world.
We may not know the “why” to every situation we face. But we know the One Who does. What else matters? Let Him be glorified in every part of your life, even in your trials.


About Shirley Ann Washam

I am an extremely blessed, divorced mother of four AMAZING children. Above that, I am a child of God! I pray that He would use this blog to speak through me to those who are hurting and discouraged. My goal is to share whatever is given by our LORD to uplift and encourage those who, like me, are blessed beyond measure, but still sometimes find themselves struggling to find answers and need a little encouragement. If you are in need of encouragement, I pray that you find it here, in the words that He speaks through me.
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