When I was a teenager, my mom told me that I didn’t talk for the first two years of my life. When I asked her why she thinks I waited so long before I started talking, she said that she thought it was because I was able to get what I wanted without talking.
She said that after I turned two years old, the first word that I said was “Why?” For several months after that, she said that the only word that ever came out of my mouth was “Why?” She told me that I almost drove her crazy because all I did was follow her around the house and ask “Why?” every time she said anything.
Today, 60 years after I turned two years old (I’m 62 years old), I still drive some people crazy because of all the questions that I ask. There are times when my wife or an employee gets frustrated with me because they think I ask too many questions. They get frustrated when I continue to “interrogate” them after they have run out of answers.
I’m what some people would call a “fact finder.” I continually ask questions and search for answers until I have enough information to explain why something is happening or has happened, or I have enough information to figure out the solution to a problem.
But I don’t only question other people, I also question myself and, at times, I also question God. Most of the questions that I ask myself and God start with the word “Why.”
There are some people who say that it’s not appropriate to ask God “Why” questions. They say, “What right do you have to question God? You should have enough trust and faith in Him that you don’t need to ask why.”
I don’t agree with that position. I believe that there are some situations when we need to ask God questions.
There are only seven occasions recorded in Sacred Scripture when the Mother of God spoke. Only two of those occasions involved conversations between her and Jesus. In the first conversation, she asked the Son of God a “Why” question. Here’s what was said during that conversation:
After three days they [Mary and Joseph] found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great sorrow.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I would be in my father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Luke 2:46-50.
Notice that Jesus answered His mother’s “Why” question with His own “Why” question, followed by another question.
Have you ever asked God why He did something to you?
The question I usually ask is, “Why did you allow this to happen to me?”
It is my belief that anything that happens to us that is outside of our own control is allowed by God. If I’m on my way to work and I stop at a stop sign and another driver crashes into the rear of my car, the collision is something that was completely outside of my own control. There is nothing that I could have done to avoid the collision. God could have intervened and stopped the collision from occurring, but because He gave each of us a free will, He doesn’t ordinarily interfere with what we do. It was the other driver’s behavior that caused the collision. God allowed it to happen, in part, because He doesn’t ordinarily interfere with a person’s free will.
But since God could have intervened to stop the collision, would it be acceptable for me to ask Him why He allowed the other car to crash into my car? I think that it’s acceptable for me to ask Him that question because all I would be doing is following His mother’s example.
Is there a benefit to asking God a “Why” question? What would be the benefit of asking such a question?
It is my belief that when we ask God a “Why” question, the Holy Spirit answers us by inspiring and challenging us to seek out the correct answer to the question. Here are some answers that I’ve come up with in the past when I’ve asked God, Why did you allow this to happen to me?
● Because I wanted to give you a reason to grow closer to me.
● Because I wanted to humble you.
● Because I wanted you to learn how to trust me more.
● Because I wanted you to realize that you need to turn to me more often and offer more prayers for your needs and the needs of the family I blessed you with.
● Because I wanted to put you in a position where you would be motivated to help the person who caused you to question me.
● Because it was necessary for you to suffer in order to purify your soul.
● Because it was necessary for you to suffer so you could make up for the sins of others.
● Because I wanted to prod you to seriously consider what you should be doing to change the direction of your life.
When we die, our entire lives will flash before our eyes. At that brief moment in time, we will know all the answers to all the questions we ever asked God. We will also know the answers to all the questions we should have asked God, but never did.
God wants us to interact with Him and ask Him questions, just like that little two-year-old boy did when he followed his mom around the house.
How else are we going to know what God expects of us if we don’t frequently communicate with Him and ask Him questions?