I like answers. I want to know why something works, what happens when you do X, and how can I get the best outcome. I tend to get to the point, whether it has to do with work, solving a problem, or with relationships (about drove my husband mad with this early on). So when life doesn’t compute, I want answers.
Unfortunately, sometimes there are no answers for why things happen.
I struggled with this over the past year. Most of the time I can find an explanation on why God allows something to happen. You know, the usual answers: to grow us, to prepare us for a greater blessing, fill in the blank. But none of those answers seemed sufficient for the pain and tears shed over the last several months. I wanted to know why. I wanted a reason so I could close those doors, heal, and move on.
Did God let Dan lose his job because He has something better planned? Why did it feel God was leading us to church plant, to then not have it work out? Why do bad things happen to people who want to follow God?
I will admit this past year shook my faith to its very core. I could feel the darkness closing in on me. I cried out to God, but couldn’t seem to hear Him. I felt alone and spiritually cold.
Now some people will say you should never question God. I believe it’s better to be honest with God. David was honest with God in the Psalms. Jeremiah the prophet was honest with God. God knows my heart and can see the hurt and confusion already inside. Through honesty comes truth. And with truth comes answers.
A couple weeks ago, I had my answer: that sometimes there are no answers. I could feel in my heart that God had been patient with me, but it had come to the point that I needed to let go. I would not have the answers for why things happened the way they did this year. Why? Because God is God and I am me.
In that moment, I caught an awe and terrifying glimpse of God. I forget how much bigger, how much smarter, how much more God knows than I do. He is running this entire universe, watching over every life, creating divine intersections, moving things along on a scale that I can’t even comprehend. So when He says that all things work together for good (even if I can’t see it), He does and I need to trust that. And I need to let go.
I may have my answers someday, perhaps in heaven. But I have a feeling that by then I’m not going to care. Why? I’ll finally be in God’s presence and that will be all I need.
*I wrote this back in 2011 a couple months after Dan was abruptly let go from a church we were serving at. I still have no answer as to why it happened, but for those of you going through dark times, I can tell you healing does come when you let go of your need for answers and move on, your hand in God’s hand.
10 thoughts on “Sometimes There are No Answers for Why Things Happen”
Thanks. This fits all too well with tomorrow’s Sunday School/small group lesson, which wraps up the book of Job.
I hadn’t thought about that, but yes, that is exactly what happened with Job too. Thanks for the reminder!
Thanks. I’m going through some of the same feelings lately and got the same answer. It stinks, but it helps to know others are going through it too and came out the other side.
I wasn’t sure what to post this morning, and reread this post and thought I should share it again. I always hated those pithy sayings about how there is a light at the end of the tunnel, just trust in God, have faith, it will all come out good in the end. Those words, usually said with good intentions, feel like a band aid on a gushing wound.
But hearing about people who go through valleys of death and come out again, those are what help me. Veteran soldiers who have been through what I’m going through now.
Dawn, I’m glad my own story encouraged you today. Here is a verse I love and explains why I share my own life journey:
“God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3b-4
Thanks Morgan. I recently have come to the same conclusion. I am thankful that He is God and I am not. There is such peace in letting go of the “why’s” in life and just waiting on Him -however, whenever, if ever He chooses to reveal the answers we are seeking. I am resting in His unlimited, unending love for me and trusting my future ( & past) to Him.
My heart goes out to you – I hope things are better now!
My feeling is that God created a world in which free will, and free choice have a purpose, and that while it hurts Him to see us hurting – He can’t ‘fix things’ for us without violating the principles of the world He believed was worth creating.
And it was worth creating because free will was and is the only road for creatures like us to become His friends in Heaven. If He’d created marionettes, He could steer us past all pain, but we’d never be more than wood.
So I believe that He’s here with us, and that the part of Him that resides within us is feeling the pain we feel, in all its cruelty.
And He’s whispering to us that all will be OK one day…but in the meantime, remember what this pain feels like, and use that knowledge to provide healing while we’re here.
Beautifully said, Andrew!
Morgan, thank you for this. Going through one of those dark periods right now and your post is helping. Working to stand in trust and faith.
I’m getting a lot from your blog. Keep up the good working my sister.
I have sat where you sat when you originally wrote this. In the midst of the trial He gave me a poem, “I cannot see thee in this dark”, not so much to explain; but rather to adjust my spiritual attitude/compass. (for spiritual attitude think of an aircraft’s artificial horizon/bank and turn indicator)
Much later, in 2008, He allowed me to die and glimpse Heaven before He sent me back to finish my work here. It was in the dying that many of these things were put into perspective.
As I lay in the hospital bed and it became clear to me that no help was coming in time I realzed that I was going home. Satan and my consciousness of my many failures climbed on to make me despair. I tried to hold onto my work as a pioneer pastor, my theological training and labors, my spiritual knowledge, my good works,…all of the things we usually look to for assurance in the hard times. To my horror I found that they were all falling away with the world, slipping through my fingers so to speak. I had nothing of this life to cling to for help at that time.
When I was in total despair the Lord rapped me on the side of the head (spiritually) and enabled me to look up to Him alone. When I did that He flooded my soul with Love beyond describing, joy beyond this world and assurance from Him more undoubtable than anything I’ve ever experienced before.
I cannot comprehend, let alone describe what I experienced; but I came away with several abiding ‘knowings’. One of those is that His goal in us is to create us into parts of His bride who are devoted in Christlike love and confidence so totally to Him that nothing of Earth or Hell can shake us off of Him. I can see now then that the fiery trials I’d faced were refining times that He led me into, to burn away things in me that were out of harmony with that total devotion that He so fervently desires in us. Not understanding a reason for the darkness was often the hottest part of the fire.
I still don’t have answers for many of the dark places; but I don’t need them. He is enough for me without reasons. He has taught me to be content regardless. He has me and that’s all that matters.
Our reason makes claims and demands, that it cannot justify. Hold on to Jesus, all who read this; He will see us home no matter the road He causes us to journey upon.