“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
It is a question we so often ask when life does not make sense … and when God doesn’t come through in the way we think He should. Sudden trials, tragedies, and unwanted changes to our happy lives can often cause us to question God, or doubt God, or get angry and bitter at God.
That is exactly what happened to Naomi in the Book of Ruth. She and her husband and two sons left famine-stricken Bethlehem for the greener pastures of Moab. The land of Moab, however, proved to be a place of death, not deliverance. Naomi's husband and two sons died during their time in this pagan land. Naomi returned to Bethlehem with nothing but her daughter-in-law, Ruth. As they entered the city, Naomi (“pleasantness”) asked the people to call her Marah (“bitterness”), saying, “The Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, but the LORD has brought me back empty” (Ruth 1:20-21). Needless to say, she was dealing with questions, doubts, and bitterness toward God.
IS IT WRONG TO ASK WHY?
As human beings, we want to know why when life caves in on us. We want to know why when God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we think He should. It is never wrong to ask why. But, it is wrong to demand an answer to our why.
Years ago I heard this profound statement at a funeral for a young baby who died just hours after being born, “God is not in the business of explaining; He’s in the business of sustaining.” You and I can ask why all we want, but we need to know that God doesn’t answer that question very often. His typical response to our why is simply this: “Just trust Me.”
YOU CAN TRUST HIM
I believe one of the reasons God doesn’t answer our why questions is because we wouldn’t understand it. God’s ways are so far above our ways. For God to explain the whys and wherefores to you and me would be akin to explaining quantum physics to a toddler. We don’t have the capacity to understand. So, “just trust Me” is really the best response and the best solution. Just trust the fact that God is God, and He loves you. He is good, and He never makes the slightest mistake. Nothing can come into your life until it first filters through His fingers of love. He has a plan and a purpose for everything.
Naomi had to work through her bitterness and anger. Thankfully, she did … and she saw God work miracles on her behalf. He took the worst, and made it the best. He turned her bitterness into blessedness. He gave her beauty for ashes, just like He promised (Isaiah 61:3).
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Are you going through some dark and difficult times right now? Is your marriage in shambles, your health failing, your family in turmoil, your finances in the toilet, or your job a disaster? Do you feel like “the Almighty has dealt very bitterly” with you? Don’t allow yourself to get resentful and angry at God. That never has a good outcome. By all means, bring your questions and your hurts to the Lord … and leave them at the foot of the cross. Make the choice to trust Him and His goodness, even though you don’t understand what He is doing and how He is working. Be assured, He hasn’t forgotten about you. He will work all things together for good as you say with Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15).
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.