I don’t ask why.

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Many people express to me that they do not understand why God would give my child cancer or not heal him in some miracle fashion. Others try to comfort me by telling me that even though we don’t know why, God is good, and He has a plan. But here is the thing…I don’t ask why.Why? Because it’s not going to change what is happening.

1) Knowing why God doesn’t take away my child’s cancer, won’t cure Him. It won’t change the current situation.

2) I don’t have the time or emotional energy to try to guess an answer to a question that we will never know the answer too.  Oh, and other people looking to me to answer the impossible question, really does not help me during this crisis.

But for me, this is what I come back to: Why does it matter?

More and more I have learned that why only matters in selective situations. And above that, we are not called to ask why as Christians.

Why was that person mean to me? It doesn’t matter, forgive them anyways.

Why is that person making bad decisions? It doesn’t matter, love them anyways.

Why doesn’t that person appreciate what I do? It doesn’t matter, help them anyways.

Now I understand that is an over simplification. Many times it helps to know why someone is doing something so you can address the root issues, and in the end better forgive, love or help. The main point for Jesus is that why is the not the goal, how we treat others is.

In this case, asking God why He is letting my son have cancer does not help, if anything it only will drive a wedge between God and I, and I am not having that.

Plus, questioning God in a negative light in this situation really…I’ll just say it…pisses me off. God is showing up in a HUGE way. He has taken such good care of us (which ill save for another post some day). It’s impossible to deny. Non-Christian friends are even seeing God moving. It’s nothing short of wonderful.

It may not be fair but in my heart right now to question what He has not done, is ignoring what He is doing.

The world is broken. We can’t fix that. Stop asking why. Accept that the world sucks.  It’s not being pessimistic though because the good news is that God really does help us manage this crappy world. God is the good in the world, and boy does He show up. You just have to pay attention.

Through this…times of feeling overwhelmed, helpless, confused, and just not having the strength to move forward…I don’t ask why. I ask God to keep showing up, to teach me how to lean on Him, and to do whatever He can/will to help my son.

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31 thoughts on “I don’t ask why.

  1. Not asking why is a mistake. Please consider this double standard. Please ponder on the complete lack of moral accountability your faith purveys.

    Please think about these things.

    • Lack of moral accountability? I’ve seen and heard some criticisms of my faith before, but never that we lack moral accountability. Jesus teaches us to love each other and have faith in Him. People, Christians, make mistakes and lose their morality and are not accountable when either Jesus is not even a factor in the decision or when His word is twisted or misunderstood. Our faith doesn’t have a lack of moral accountability- individual people do.

    • First, wrong on the point that those in ignorance through no fault of their own will go to hell. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1260 says: “Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved.” Plus, though I cannot find the exact reference, Jesus did say that those who were ignorant of a deed would not have it counted against them, but added that once they were told they might be.

      Second, to say one guilty of rape, murder, etc. can be forgiven is true, but this video fails to point out true repentance is a necessity. That is to say, you can simply say you repent, but you must mean it. And is that really so bad, after all this is available to anyone, and it shows the awesome compassion of God?

      Finally, to say all the evil in the world is God’s responsibility is wrong. Man’s sin allowed evil into the world, and man’s refusal to trust God allows it to persist. Sam Harris also supposes he knows what would become of the lives lost in disaster, etc. What’s to say there lives would not have ended in a more horrible way, or that these lives ever would have repented? God sees all, and he exists outside of time and space, thus he knows what our ultimate choice will be. He allows us this free choice, and he uses it for the greater good. I would also point out that many have died for the faith and demonstrated amazing resistance to the torture inflicted on them. When we see innocent small children suffer it can leave us wonder where is God, but we fail to recognize the same God that helped the martyrs is right there next to that child. We only see what appears to be unbearable agony, but we cannot know what God is doing for that child to ease the suffering. It may very well be the suffering we witness is meant to give us faith and teach us to trust all things to God. I commend Jen because I think she gets this 🙂

      Parting thought, this video you posted talks about the lack of compassion from God, but tell me, was posting such an anti-Christian video in response to Jen’s comments about how her faith sees her through such suffering an act of compassion?

      Hang in there Jen, and know your “baby boy” is now on my prayer list.

      • As I have been recently deconverted, one of the problems I had defending my faith (1 Peter 3:15) was what evidence is there that the CCC or the Bible for that fact is true besides them saying they are true? Where is the extra biblical evidence or extra Matthew evidence that saints raised from their graves at the crucifixion or King Herod killed babies 2 and under as well as Jesus’ miracles. Historians would not have missed this. Faith is not a passage for truth BUT allows for hope and lessens suffering to those that mourn. To say God stands by the suffering side is comparing Him to a mortal mother as she watches her child suffer rather that an all powerful omnipotent being who could heal the child with a mere thought. Isn’t a cut, bump, bruise or a broken bone enough suffering for our children? Why so grotesque? Our nature is to ask “why” because that’s how we discover how to vaccinate, feed and bring clean water to those who suffer or prevent it. Many have died for their beliefs, Branch Davidians, People’s Temple where over 300 children were murdered with cyanide.
        Lastly, I could never grasp the concept of why is man to be blamed for sin when we were apparently created with the potential to sin. Despite being “perfect” and talking to God, Adam sinned. The first verse in Job, says he’s perfect but yet he’s a sinner. How so? It was inherited from Adam? Is this just? If I murder, does my son and future generations get the death penalty? If we sin then we are a distorted image of God, no? Why is it that God needs animal and human/divine sacrifice (Jephthah daughter, David’s bastard son and Jesus) to forgive us and why send those who spent years trying to understand and can not get themselves to believe to a place of infinite suffering for the finite and non-violent crime of unbelief? If I had absolute knowledge I would send myself to save the world, suffer for a day and a half and end up next to myself on the right side, I would do it BUT what was sacrificed? There was no loss? Parents who mourn the loss of a child defending our country is a sacrifice. Lastly, why did the Jews get better evidence for God’ existence than us? A Doubting Thomas or a Paul Damascus revelation would suffice or better yet an omnibenevolent being would know what it would take to save a non believer if He really so loved the world otherwise why create a nonbeliever in the first place knowing they will never believe making God an accessary to their infinite torment? An unbeliever may act as God’s adversary, like the satan in Job, to test a believer’s faith, so don’t blame us for God’s possible plan. Does the CCC say there is freewill in heaven to reject God like Satan apparently did? These and many more questions abolished my faith, so maybe many Christians are right by not asking, “why” and just believe like many of their ancestors did. Hopefully, they picked the correct religion out of the 4700+ of them otherwise your no different than an unbeliever in their eyes.

      • Mitch,
        It might be worth it to you to look into the Bible and where it stands in comparison to any other ancient historical manuscripts. It pretty much stands alone in it’s reliability as nothing else even comes close. Also, the concept of sacrifice is really difficult for us to understand in our civilized society. Sacrifice is better understood when we learn what the blood represents. There is a great book that I read years ago, called “Chemistry of the Blood” which really explains in depth the siginificance of blood and what it represents. It is clear from God’s word that He just doesn’t view physical life and death the way we do, and is much more concerned with our spiritual life and death. This life is, after all, only a blip in eternity.

        I don’t really understand the reluctance of folks to accept that we are fallen beings. We have the capacity to make choices, to do good and evil. We are accountable for our sin, and God gave us a sacrifice once for all in Christ. We, again, can choose to accept or reject His mercy. How is that a bad deal?

        What’s difficult for us to accept and what the writer of this post was trying to get across is the idea of suffering. We as human beings, in our civilized society have very wrong ideas about suffering. It’s always looked at as a negative thing. It’s not. It’s essential to our walks as believers. Read 1 Peter, and you will see that our lives are not about being happy. Our lives are about being made holy. Suffering is a huge part of our sanctification. None of us want our children to suffer or be in pain, but as believers we know that this world is temporary and suffering is a means to an end. I know many Christians who have suffered and because of their suffering saw God show up in the most inexplainable, incredible ways they would not have otherwise. It’s natural to ask why sometimes, but suffering in the world doesn’t disprove the existence of a loving and merciful God.

        Faith is not something to give up because of unanswerable questions, Mitch. Faith is more precious that any earthly treasure and the key to our salvation. How an we ever expect to fully understand the wonders of our God?

      • “It pretty much stands alone in it’s reliability as nothing else even comes close”. How can you say that when we don’t have the originals but rather copies of copies of copies… Over 5,000 manuscripts doesn’t equal reliability. Early complete Codex Vaticanus and Sinaiticus Greek manuscript bibles are lacking main ideas in later manuscripts like the woman caught in adultery John 7:53-8:11 is an interpolation, Mark 16:20 is not in these early manuscripts, most Christians scholars agree I Peter was forgery among other writing, Mark 1:41 describes Jesus as being compassionate in the Greek version and angry in the Latin version. So many other examples, but my point is they are not reliable and you must take these books on faith and not evidence. The Muslims claim they have the original Quran and The Mormons have named eyewitnesses to the angel Moroni giving the Golden Plates to John Smith. Should we lower our standards of evidence and believe them as well?. As a Christian all you can really say is you have faith in a book and all you need to know is God Loves and Jesus saves, everything else is unnecessary for your salvation so no point in asking why or trying to understand confusing scripture. I understand the concept of Jesus’ sacrifice as an eternal sinless being suffering for our sins before we enter eternity in a sinless state through the blood of Jesus Christ as a payback to God for our inheriited sinfullness despite the fact He set it up this way knowing in advance who would choose faith or not. That’s like giving someone a black eye then punching them in the same eye for having a black eye you gave them. Is that reasonable?
        I accept we have faults but to say God sees us as sinless if we have faith in JC seems odd. You mean to tell me God doesn’t know of our sin or looks the other way because we have a belief based on faith and not evidence and those that can’t get them selves to believe are doomed eventhough He gave better evidence to the Jews? Is that just? It’s “Good News” for you but “Bad news” for me. Hard to believe an all powerful omniscient being would use a confusing book to send the most important message to His loved ones, seems more incompetent to me.
        I’m not saying No Suffering, but why is it so grotesque. Bumps, cuts, bruises, broken bones, mourning the loss of a grandparent….is enough. Why tsunamis, pandemic 1918 Flu killed over 50 million, progeria, child deformity…..Didn’t Jesus come to save us from suffering and sin by His suffering or just saved us from sin and then suffering the second time (” in this generation”) He comes? I didn’t say suffering disproves God, but I can give no good reason why The Christian God exists. . And if He does exist and telling from the horrible biblical atrocities, I can’t get myself to worship such a being. If He changed His commands after Jesus then He is not The author of Absolute morality, unless you accept might makes right no matter what then God can change the rules whenever He wants. This by definition is not absolute. If He says kill or gouge out the eyes of your first born then you should do it, no?

        “Faith is not something to give up because of unanswerable questions, Mitch. Faith is more precious that any earthly treasure and the key to our salvation. How an we ever expect to fully understand the wonders of our God?” A Muslim, Hindu, Jew…..use faith as well,so how are we to know the truth using faith as “evidence” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV) to decide which religion or denomination (40,000+) is true? I have no problem not knowing how our universe started or other mysteries we have yet to solve, but to substitute God as a reason is giving an answer that needs an explanation as well, thus infinite regress. Why is there a God in the first place and how do you know He wasn’t created by the multi-verse God in such a way our God thinks He is the only God and really screwed up our universe by killing and failing to convince His people, then getting the Jews to kill and fail and finally get Himself in Jesus to act as a loop hole to rules He created but couldn’t circumvent? Sorry, too much thinking by asking “why”, my bad.

      • @Sam – Excellent response to Mitch.
        @Mitch – I would simple add either you have freewill or you do not. God allows us the freedom to make choices, and many people are fine with this although they misuse it. What people fail to recognize is that their choices have an effect on more than just themselves, and so people ask “why does God allow this?” Thus, people then want freewill, but they want it to be free of consequence to themselves and/or others. But what does that leave us? It leaves us without freewill. To say that God should be able to find a way to save everyone is to suggest that we not be allowed to make this choice, and again we are left with no freewill.

      • Wayne,
        Will you have freewill in the afterlife? Satan had freewill knowing God in all his glory with far better evidence than us and Still rejected God. Does that mean, man may reject God in the afterlife if freewill is eternal? Will Christians mourn the suffering of their non-Christian family and friends in the after life as well knowing they are suffering an infinite torment for the non violent finite crime of unbelief? If so , can they truly be happy? I know I couldn’t.

      • Will you have freewill in the afterlife?
        I can only assume yes.

        Satan had freewill knowing God in all his glory with far better evidence than us and Still rejected God.
        True, and the same can be applied to Adam and Eve.

        Does that mean, man may reject God in the afterlife if freewill is eternal?
        Again, I can only assume yes.

        But let’s pause, and can you please explain this line of questioning? Is there some point you are trying to support or some conclusion you expect readers to draw?

        Will Christians mourn the suffering of their non-Christian family and friends in the after life as well knowing they are suffering an infinite torment for the non violent finite crime of unbelief?
        In statistics this question would be called bias as it aims to point the reader to the conclusion that dis-belief is no crime, and thus leads them to conclude that they must answer to the affirmative. But, none the less, if God permits us to see/know the suffering of those who rejected him I for one would feel sad, but at the same time would respect the fact they chose to be separated from God. There is a belief that the “fires and torments of hell” are primarily the separation from God. You also must understand that God asks us to freely choose Him, whereas Satan accepts one’s refusal of God as an acceptance of him. That is to say, if you reject God then you do not have his protection from Satan, and Satan, in turn, “takes you by force”.

        If so , can they truly be happy? I know I couldn’t.
        Again, read the above, but suffice it to say, we each have a choice, and we each are given enough grace to know God in order to choose him (but not so much as to remove freewill), but still some do not cooperate with grace (do not accept what grace teaches them concerning God) and choose “other than” God.

        Now, Mitch, I must say it is truly sad that our paths have crossed only in the electronic frontier for I believe face-to-face conversation about our differing views on God would be most invigorating for both of us.

  2. We do have the answers to a lot of these questions in His Word. We know there is an enemy “the theif comes to steel, kill, and destroy…” John 10:10. And only good things come from God…”every good and precious gift comes from above”. James 1:17. So God definitely is not giving children cancer…that comes from satan who steals, kills, and destroys. Yes…we do not need to know all the answers. That is where faith comes in and we can not please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6) But we should be seeking God for answers when we are spending time with Him…”It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” Proverbs 25:2. We are suppose to hunger & thirst for God!

    • Christian Faith is based in not knowing. The wise are fools to them. It is sad. Believing in Adam and Eve as the beginning of mankind is sad. We have evil in the world because Eve ate from the fruit of “KNOWLEDGE!” Mind control over the masses by just saying whatever you can’t explain from what you believe…just say it is faith. hooey.

  3. For those of you who left critical comments, I dont think this blog is for you. She wasnt debating the merits or logic of her faith, she was simply speaking to those who were already believers and explaining her views on why she felt focusing on the why was pointless when you could be focusing on something that actually helps during a tough crisis. Obviously that message will be lost on non believers, so keep your corny, snot nosed criticisms for a debate forum somewhere and let this person share her faith with those of us who already believe for our own personal reasons…

    • Hi David, welcome to the internet – you obviously haven’t been here long. Here we believe in a free exchange of ideas, unencumbered by “intended audiences”. The world would be much better off with a little less faith and a little more logic. We should absolutely be asking why. We should be asking ourselves why we’re perfectly happy to give god credit for the good, but not the bad. Here’s the scary thing about asking why: you’re going to get an answer. And it’s an answer apologetics have struggled with for millennia. An all-powerful, all-loving god would *not* create a world where such useless, horrific suffering were not only possible, but seen every minute of every day of every year. Obviously, I’m talking beyond cancer now. There is just no satisfactory answer to this. And if you think you have one, you’ve deluded yourself. That’s why you shouldn’t ask why. Because the outcome is either total cognitive dissonance or a substantial change to your religious beliefs. So the reason not to ask why… it’s really the reason you should be asking.

      • The will to believe trumps the will to know. Believers rather keep their faith as it brings hope and happiness. Let them have it as long as they don’t fly planes into buildings among other things. I prefer to look at the evidence or lack of, to form my belief or lack of belief, this way my internal model of reality conforms to the external world of reality so I can make better decisions. The bible’s view on suffering: the prophets describe it as God’s punishment for sin, Abraham-Isaac and Job’s tales describe it as a test of faith, Ecclisiates says we don’t know, Job in the poetic version shows God feels we are peons and not worthy, Proverbs 3:5 don’t go by your understanding, Joseph and Jesus story shows something good comes from suffering and Apocalypticism describes the world is partly controlled by demons until Jesus comes back to redeem the world, meaning God created evil (Isaiah 45:7) and allows the demons to cause suffering even among the believers because they are following God’s commands.

      • Hi Anthony. I have no snarky opening line for you (although I will admit I would like to be so clever). I don’t know this women but my heart goes out to her. Her son has cancer and that is truely terrible. Logic is powerful but so is faith when driven by love and compassion, which I believe this world would be much better if we had a lot more of! But since you seem to be a man of logic I’ll ask you a question. How do you know such suffering is useless? What I mean is that you are assuming because you, yourself can not see a use for it that there is none. Now if we are argueing from the stand point of there being no God at all then good, bad, horrible, fair, unfair, justice, love, purpose, even “why”, don’t exist. They are all relative and useless because in the end it’s all about here and now survival. But let’s, for a moment, pretend the, as you say “all-powerful all-loving god” of the Bible exists. The problem with giving anyone complete free will is that they might not choose what you want them to. If you force them to choose what you want it is no longer a choice now is it? If I want to find a romantic partner for example, I would want someone who chose to be with me, not someone I had to hog tie and keep locked in my house (lol ik that sounds like kidnapping). Or on the less extreme side, some one I had to constantly guilt to stay with me. eventually both of us would be unhappy and unsatisfied. God left room for us to choose him freely. He wouldn’t be “all-loving” if He didn’t. As for all-powerful, if he was and He did create everything, who are you to question His plan and his methods? Unless you claim to be all-knowing. I’m not saying don’t seek truth or don’t use your (God-given) abilities to reason and think logically, but it’s prideful and a bit silly to think that because WE can’t see a reason for something that there isn’t one. Or because we don’t like (hate, abhor, find horrific or disturbing) something that God won’t/couldn’t use it for good. Either why if God made it, it’s His and He can do what He wants. If you don’t like it take it up with Him. But logic will not comfort this woman who is going through this difficulty, nor will picking apart her faith. And if anyone thinks using “logic” to tear down the hurting will make this world a better place they are seriously delueded and I hope they have people to love them through any difficulties they go through otherwise they are without hope.

  4. I love what you have written here. I think you are brave and strong and wise to not ask why because, as you say, what does it matter? It is not going to determine your faith. Whats more – we cannot know. And I like the way you express this as your own personal conclusion. You dont try to convince anyone that your conclusion means that you are faithy-er than anyone else. Then some people come back at you and judge your faith according to how they judge your conclusion because your conclusion is not their conclusion. Some ass holes just have to believe they are right about everything. Its best not to ask why they are like that.

  5. I understand exactly what you mean. When bad things happen in my life, I don’t ask, “Why?” The answer might well be, “Why NOT me?” What did I ever do to deserve to be spared life’s trials? Who am I to expect a free pass?
    Also, I realize that this world is NOT heaven. This is mortal life, and sometimes, it sucks. However, it is also beautiful, and if I never had a reason to need God’s love, I would never know its bounty.

  6. The video on moral accountability was fascinating, but irrelevant to my faith. Jesus clearly said he had sheep who were not of ‘this fold.’ I trust God to love ALL people and not arbitrarily send people off to ‘hell’. As to my own own suffering? I have no answers, but “Why not me?” certainly covers a lot of ground. My kid’s suffering? Harder to handle for sure.
    DeeDee
    http://kidneedsakidney.blogspot.com/2014/01/year-three-week-forty-two-let-me-carry.html

  7. Oh my word – I have not read the long comments on your blog but am completely awestruck by the clarity of your post, your trust and your faith. No wonder God shows up for you, He tends to do that for his friends. Love & prayers, S

  8. I grew up Catholic, but think about things differently now. I think of God as a programmer….who created this virtual world for us, that we know as “reality”…sort of like a big MMORPG game. I don’t think God “allows” or “causes” bad things to happen. I think these so-called tragedies are really just the conditions we set for ourselves in our game…i.e, life. Just like you pick a video game, you pick the type of life you have. So yes, I also believe in reincarnation, which goes against Catholic beliefs, yes, but these beliefs were made up by people anyway, so why can’t I make up my own?

  9. I believe that being made in God’s image means that He made me “god-like.” That means that as I have faced certain tragedies in my life, I have the confidence that I can deal with it! Rather than be angry with God that something bad is going on, I give thanks to God for giving me the ability to overcome it. And that gives me courage. I don’t split hairs. I don’t try to push God’s hand. Remember, as my dear Aunt Helena reminded me, “Everything God does is perfect.”

    • Give yourself credit to over cone such tragedies base on your genetics, experience , wisdom and reason rather than use God as a supernatural security blanket. If God can only do perfect and He created us with the ability to sin are we still classified as “perfect” or we caused ourselves to become imperfect thru sin. Isn’t Jesus a more accurate image of God being created perfect with freewill but without the ability to sin?

      • i agree faith in any religion i’v been exposed to makes no sense.
        god for example is compared to as a good father,shepherd etc dose a good father leave extension cords out for them to chew on? make the hot stove reachable? etc
        no a good father baby-profs the house to protect and guides their child. That child has freewill but also limits why aren’t we? We murder rape torture each other where are our safety plugs? wheres the godly/fatherly like voice reminding us this is wrong right?(straight from the source) you don’t have someone else guide and discipline your children do you?
        your pets have freewill with in the confines of the environment you have created for them in the wild they would have kill every day to survive amongst other sins but you being a good pet owner they are ignorant and free from those sins and regret. do they still have there freewill? they still have choices are just limits eat, sleep run on the wheel
        we provide there habitat, feed them keep them warm and safe we’re kinda like gods to them are we not?
        that’s the kinda god i want if it means i don’t have freewill so be it a god that is close and warm that keeps me safe from harm a god i know exist because i personally eat from his hand here is my freewill give me ignorance i don’t need to know all the mysterys of the universe. to know that god exist that god is watching over & protecting that’d be enough but i don’t really know that i hope its true but hoping is not knowing
        it was who are we to question god? were your parents good parents? who are you to to ask such a question?
        the answer is simple your there child that’s who!!! did they fulfill there responsibility the best they could with the tools they had? did you feel the warmth of there love and know them personally? then they were good parents apply that to god. we are goods children right can i or you say for sure any of those things are true with more then wishful thinking
        i want to Believe to find that right path and know with faithful passion that it is right but evidence to to is required for real faith. i let go of a ball i have faith it will that’s gravity. what religious ppl call faith i don’t understand. one of the disciples asked Jesus why he performed Miracles the response was so that the people might believe. to me that means even the bible says evidence is necessary but offers none rather faith by faith alone i don’t get it.
        that’s saying don’t go believing everything your told just because your told then turn around and say believe this simply because i tell you

      • Jeff I know what you mean about faith but don’t say you have faith in gravity. You have trust based evidence and something that can be measured. Faith is a form of belief not based on evidence. Hebrews 11:2 KJV claims faith is the type of evidence yet the Jews, Adam, Satan, Noah, Jacob. Job, Paul, doubting Thomas got better evidence than us yet we have to base our eternal choice on faith. How are we to choose which 4700 religion or 40,000 denomination is true based in faith?

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