We ask hesitantly, in the dark, ashamed. We ask brazenly, shaking fists, enraged. We feel guilty. Or demanding. Or justified.
We seem to think God is shocked at our why, taken by surprise. Perhaps a little miffed. But I wonder if this is true.
Most of us have had experience with children asking endless whys. We may get impatient with them, but we understand them. We even expect them. The whys get more difficult as kids get older, but isn’t that because kids are getting wiser, more aware of themselves in the world, and therefore more eager to find their place? We are smart to listen.
How else do we learn without asking why? How will we ever find answers unless we seek them?
Our whys are important. Vital. We are seekers. We were made to look for answers. The problems come when we are not so sure about the one who has those answers. The why is no longer a question when we fling it out with ears closed to listening, when we use it only to rage. We have already determined the answer we want, and if we don’t get it, we are done.
But I think God welcomes our whys. If our whys make us journey toward God, even in anger, even in accusation, we are on the right path. He promises truth, and the truth sets us free. Always. That doesn’t mean the truth is painless. But is freedom ever painless?
A why asked with a true desire for the answer, whatever that answer is, opens us to hearing God, one another, and even ourselves. We ask, and then we listen. Yes, sometimes the answer doesn’t come. What we do next says a lot about us and what we trust.
The one with all the answers is also the one who might ask you to wait. To sit with him in the dark for a while. The answer is coming, maybe slowly. As you wait, listening, maybe the why turns to a Who. And just maybe, that is your answer.