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“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” -Hebrews 6:19
One of the earliest questions that every child asks is “why?” I remember growing up that the question, “Why do I need to learn math?” was a big one, because there were some of those algebra problems that I didn’t see any application in my life to. The problems would always start with a scenario like “Steve has 50 bananas and 12 pounds of strawberries…”, and at some point you go, “Wait a minute, before I plug in the formula, why would anyone ever need 50 bananas? Does this really apply to my life?” I used to think that…until I did youth ministry. A couple years ago I was shopping at the grocery store for a college send-off brunch event that we were hosting, and I looked in my cart and I had 50 bananas, 12 pounds of strawberries, 8 gallons of milk, and I realized that I was the guy from the math problems! Apparently, I did need to pay attention in algebra!
As I’ve gotten older, my “why” questions haven’t really stopped they’ve only gotten more serious. In a recent two-year span, I experienced the death of my daughter, the shut-down of the world due to a pandemic, and the murder of two close friends. I was surrounded with why questions. Why was this evil allowed to happen? Why me, why my child, why my friends? The storm of “why” is like a hurricane, ready to consume me.
As I walked through this storm of “why”, what I learned in that journey is that Scripture rarely gives us a specific answer to our why questions. Now that may not sound comforting at first, but stick with me. There’s no specific verse that says, “Here’s why this bad thing happened to you.” What we have instead, are a whole host of verses that reveal much greater promises of God for me and for you. Like how God is the provider of all things that I need. And so, if God hasn’t given me the “why” answer that I want, apparently that means I don’t actually need it. God has chosen to keep the “why” to Himself. What if instead of demanding more, I looked at what He has given me and trust that it is enough?
The first place that we need to look is to the cross. The death of the Son of God seemed like the end of the plan of salvation, and “why” questions abounded for the disciples. But then God raised His Son from the dead, because even when we can’t see it, He has a plan. Even when it looks like evil has won, God still reigns. God isn’t up there looking at your life in utter shock, having no idea what to do next. God does not panic- because He is over all things, He has a plan, and He loves you. That’s what anchors us in the midst of the life’s why’s- the hope of the clear promises of God.
God has not abandoned you and never will- He sees you and He is with you. In the midst of your loss, grief, pain, suffering, and questions God oftentimes doesn’t give you a why, but He always gives us a Who, your Savior Jesus. More than just being aware of your pain, Christ will carry you through it. Just like He continues to carry me through mine. Just like He carried your sin, guilt, and shame to the cross, He will carry you through whatever it is that you’re dealing with. That’s what we hold onto in the midst of why: The God who is holding onto you, no matter what.
Lord, thank you for holding me in the midst of a sinful, broken world. Anchor me to your promises of forgiveness, life, and salvation through your Son Jesus. Hold me fast through the storms of life with your never-changing words of life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
-How have I experienced the storm of “why” in my life?
-What are some promises of God that can be my anchor in the midst of that storm?