When We Ask God, ‘Why?’: Finding Peace for Life’s Unanswered Questions

Filed under Walk with God Your Heart on Jun 03 13 by


Child: Why do trees have roots?

Mom: Because that is how they get the food they need from the ground.

Child: Why?

Mom: Because that’s what helps them grow.

Child: Why?

Mom: Because that’s how God made them.

Isn’t that how the “why” questioning usually ends up? At the end of every why, there is God. Sometimes I laugh when I hear those kinds of interactions going on with different kids and their parents, but I still do the same thing in my adult life. As a child, the answer, “Because God made it that way,” seems like an adequate answer. But is this answer still enough for an adult?

There are so many hard things in this life—a balance of pain and grace. We lose grandparents, parents, siblings, children, babies, friends, and even our furry friends to death, often a painful one. We see murder, rape, stealing, lying, cheating, beating, and betrayal. People are brought to their knees by war, poverty, sickness, and disease. And isn’t the first question we ask “Why?” Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to answer that question completely, no more than I can answer why a tree gets its nutrients the way it does—because I am not the Creator.

Last week, I had a dear childhood friend killed in a horrible way. It broke me down, and still I am struggling in the quiet moments to trust in Him Who Knows All. In this world, we feel we deserve to always know why. If God does not answer the why, then we say, “How can He be good? Look what He has let happen!” But just as the one-year-old child does not understand why he cannot play with a plastic bag and gets angry when it is taken away, so we cannot fathom the heart and will of God in all things. It seems simplistic, but sometimes that is all I can understand of God. I can study and strive and pray continually, but I will never know enough or be wise enough to see God’s plan for this world.

This is what I do know. God created a beautiful place—and he put us here to live on it. Then we humans messed it up by thinking we knew better than God and needed to be smart as Him. We brought sin and selfishness into this world, and it destroyed so many of the great and wonderful things God wanted for us. Then, out of God’s great and magnificent love for his creation, He sent His one and only Son into this world. His Son was instantly sought out to be killed; anger, hate, and betrayal followed him all his years on this earth. Then, God’s Son, Jesus, sacrificed himself to a painful separation from his all loving Father, and to death on a cross, so that we might all have a way of forgiveness for the sin that we brought into the world. He did this so we could one day live with him in all his glory in the heavenly realms, so that we could once again be the people he created us to be.

I do not understand why my friend was killed, but I know my God is mourning for him too. I could allow myself to be angry, but I feel so much more saddened. I am saddened for the people whose hearts don’t know my Jesus—who have let their lives be taken over by addiction, hate, selfishness. And I know my God is distraught over it, because he is a God of love. God’s grace is that we have a way out of all this mess that is pulling us down in this world. We can accept his heart for us—his love, mercy, and forgiveness, and we can get a new heart—His. With this new heart, we get to see the world in a different light. We get to go out and tell others that there is a hope in Christ, that this mess is not hopeless after all. What better news could there be?

The next time that you are in a place of hardship, with knees scraped and heart bleeding, look to Him whose heart is for you. You may not always get your “why” answered in a way that you can understand, but your heart will be able to trust in the Almighty Creator who was, and is, and will be forever. It is enough to answer our, “Why?” with “God,” and to trust in the one who loves us more than we could ever imagine.

View all posts by

Leigh Eddy Nelson
Leigh is currently a stay-at-home-mom, or SAHM, ministering to the community around her at The Oaks Camp and Conference Center in Lake Hughes, California. Writing has been a passion of hers since she was a little girl, and God has given her a gift to share her experiences in life, love, marriage, and her journey to, and through, motherhood. Follow her journey here every month!