The Futility of Why.

It is normal to question, but you will never get a satisfactory answer, and you’ll only waste your time. The past is the past, and facts are facts.

Jerry White (I Will Not Be Broken)

I promised to share my observations and lessons as I read Jerry White’s book. I’m taking it a bit at a time; trust me, this is not a book to rush through. The lessons are deep and profound.

As I read the portion above, it struck me as a brutal truth; what is sometimes called the stark, naked truth. The desire to know is inherent in man – especially the question why. Just observe any 4 year old around you.

The whys become even more insistent when there’s been a tragedy:

  • why would a God who loves us allow this to happen?

  • Why should I have to be the one to suffer this way?

  • Why didn’t someone do something?

  • Why? Why? Why?

They are endless!

I think on some deep unconscious level, we find comfort in the unanswered whys; they give us an excuse to wallow in self pity. It’s almost as though we say to ourselves once these questions are answered, I’ll get on with my life.

However, Jerry White, in his book I Will Not Be Broken, is saying the questions will NEVER be answered. Doesn’t that give you a pause? If these questions are not going to be answered, then why ask them in the first place?

The Psalmist in the Bible constantly asked why. And he was a very troubled person – disaster after disaster seemed to trail him. When he asked why, he didn’t just address the questions to some vague, cosmic presence, he was very directional is his questioning:

why, O Lord do you stand afar off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1 NIV).

That is a very normal reaction. Some folks hold the opinion that we must never question God. I think that God is big enough to handle any questioning. Nevertheless, the Psalmist did not wallow in his whys…he recognised the futility of that. Some chapters later, even though there was no evidence that his questions had been answered, his attitude had changed to one of trust:

but I trust in you unfailing love. My heart rejoices in your salvation.

He made a conscious decision to move on with his life.

That is the bottom line. When tragedy strikes, there are usually two options:

Option 1: wallow in the futility of why;

Option 2: choose to move on…

I’ve experienced tragedy on several levels – loss, abuse, you name it. Still I pray that when it comes again, I’ll have the courage to keep choosing the second option.

I’ll share some more of the book as I read. But if you would like to read along with me, you can get your own copy. Then we’ll have fun while we learn truths.


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