A friend recently asked me what was my favorite witnessing story. I told her without a doubt there is one story of a woman’s life that stands out to me more than any one I’ve ever met. The reason she stands out to me is not because she had a dramatic conversion. This woman stands out to me because for a year I walked with her while she wrestled with God through the question of “Why?” and eventually discovered the answer. Why did God allow her dad to sexually abuse her? Where had God been when she needed help to protect her siblings from abuse? Why had God let her mom die at such a you
While we all love hearing stories of former drug addicts having a Damascus road conversion, few people have the testimony of God answering their “why” questions. I have found that more people turn away from God because of not understanding why something in their life has happened than for any other reason. This has ranged from questioning God on why a child committed suicide to why God let them marry someone who would eventually leave them. The question of “Why?” is real, and complicated, but not impossible.
Be Real: You have to be real about the fact your angry, hurt, mad, doubting, confused. God can take it. Ps. 62:8 says, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him.” You aren’t giving God new information. He knows you’re hurt and wants you to draw near to Him.
Admit it’s Complicated: In my opinion, the biggest benefit this side of heaven to being a Christian is knowing that regardless of the heartache, hurt, and sorrow we are experiencing, God has a plan for our life and that He supernaturally includes our pain. Nothing that happens to us catches God off guard. He has already decided how He will use it in our life. Some people get angry about what God has allowed or defensive when Christians say God has allowed something to happen so we need to admit it is complicated.
Realize It’s Not Impossible to Answer: This is not an attempt to explain the inexplicable. I had a person get so mad at me for saying God has a plan for her abuse and was confronted with “that’s the church answer”. I replied, “That’s the church answer, because it’s the right answer.” Other Christians had told her that she will never know and left it at that out of fear. There is no comfort in trying to take God out of the equation of suffering. We need to caution ourselves against seeming trite or insensitive to suffering. However, in the long run it is more comforting to know without a doubt that God was ultimately responsible than just being a victim of random circumstances.
Remember even Jesus asked Why: It is not ungodly to ask God why something has happened. Matthew 27:46 records that even Jesus asked, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It is a normal part of our Christian walk to have times we wonder where God is and what He is thinking in allowing something to happen. It is so important to admit and process your hurt, anger, and confusion at God. But may us never forget this promise of God from Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you!” God is still with you, rooting for you, loving you and has a plan for your life!
About the writer:
Julia is a counselor at Meier Clinics where she specializes in treating teenagers and women struggling with eating disorders, depression, anxiety & self-harm. She is the Girl’s Ministry Associate for the Student Ministry at First Baptist Dallas and a professional youth speaker for Just Say Yes. Julia has served in student ministry alongside her husband for the past 7 years. Julia has a heart to see people experience the same freedom through Christ that she has experienced!