Intense personal suffering and catastrophic loss will test our faith, and shake our confidence in God’s justice. While there is a point at which we have to guard against “feeling sorry for ourselves”, it is also dangerous to deny the battle raging in our soul. Certainly God’s servant Job anguished over the death of his children (Job 1:20), but when he was afflicted with insidious lesions on his own body he cried, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.” (Job 3:25 NIV)
We don’t have to be the ones suffering to pose the question, “Why me?” We also contend with God when a loved one is seriously hurt or diagnosed with a terminal disease. And while we feel guilty when we complain, even as the people we care about come to a place of peace in their circumstances, our fears and doubts are no less real. Should we lose a spouse or a child to the last enemy of death, we are left to pick up the pieces of our shattered hearts and somehow make sense of God’s wisdom.
My conversations with others on this topic seem to always end with one or both of the following: God has failed us, we have failed God, or we have failed each other. Perhaps our cultural bent toward fairness is what leads us to spread the blame around. We have not been without fault, but then, neither has God.
Our frustrations are rarely, if ever expressed in these terms. Few of us would be so bold as to accuse God of wrongdoing. We are more comfortable asking Him why He is sometimes absent or so difficult to understand. In more courageous moments we might venture to suggest God has abandoned us or broken a promise or two.
But the truth is, when our world crashes in around us, we must find a reason. The notion we might be entirely at fault is too unbearable, and our suspicion God is responsible causes us to look away, lest we find ourselves speechless in His presence.
Have you ever admitted you were angry at God? Do you believe it is a sin to do so?
Dear God, help me in my quest for “Why?” In Jesus’ name, Amen.