I invited my friend and author, Jennifer Jenkins, to share with us from her book, Surviving Spiritual Heartbreak: Surrendering the Pain to Secure Your Purpose, part II of Recovering From Anger Towards God. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook.
The first words I cried at the conclusion of my crucifixion were “Why God?!?! Whhhyyy???” A cry that was accompanied by full-on sobbing and wailing as I lay on floor grasping for anything to bring peace. I can imagine Job experienced many of the same emotions as he learned of the demise of his family and empire despite all he had done for God. Despite the righteous life he lived and how he pointed others to God, he was still struck by the enemy, and he was struck hard. “How is it that I do what you have called me to do, go where you have called me to go, say what you tell me to say, work how you want me to work and yet and still you allow THIS to befall me? Whhhhyyy??!!! Where is the reasoning? Where is the logic? Where is the justice? Where is the reward?!?! I live for You on a consistent basis and this is what I get, but the people who purposely live against Your will and do what they want to do in spite of what you have told them, get to live happily ever after?”
Sound familiar? That was my conversation with God as I lay on the floor in immense pain and utter confusion. Many of us have been there, some of us are there now, and others have made it to the other side. As a human designed to engage in logical reasoning and rational thought, it would almost be amiss to not question why bad things happen to good people. Unfortunately, I doubt you will get an answer and even if you did, it wouldn’t make the pain any easier or allow you to move past what happened any faster. The reason will not take away what happened, it will not change what happened, and above all else, you probably would not understand the reasoning for why it occurred anyway. If you really must have a reason as to why this occurred, I will offer a few reasons for your consideration.
Consider The Cause/ What’s The “Why”
- You were called for such a time as this.
- Consider Ester in the Old Testament. Esther risked her life for the lives of her people even though she would not personally reap any rewards. Though she maintained all she had before, she was also able to enjoy watching her people increase. Your life is not your own. Your journey is not for the glory of you, it is designed to exemplify and exalt the outrageous power, grace, and mercy of our loving and awesome Heavenly Father.
- Why Not?
- A righteous man, Job feared God and lived a life of complete integrity. Job was so amazing that God himself bragged about Job in Heaven when the heavenly court came together. When Job was being tested, he refused to curse God or turn away from his master, instead, he chose to stand in reverence to his knowledge of God’s character, believing He would show Himself merciful and mighty. The testimony you develop from this time of pain will serve to comfort others when they embark upon this treacherous journey. Stand in faith that God is working it all out for your good, praise your way through, and watch God work!
- You Needed To Grow/ Mature/ Stretch.
- In his letter to the church at Colossae, Paul wrote about the impact of the Good News on the life of others and how hearing the Word of God promoted a change in lifestyle for many. He shared that the Colossians were being prayed for on a regular basis that they might mature in the Spirit as they got to know God more intimately. Throughout the New Testament, there are numerous accounts of Paul encouraging growth and maturation in others. While in prison, Paul writes to others encouraging them to not become discouraged by his current circumstances, but instead to continue to grow themselves in the Lord. There is always an area in which you can grow and develop, use this time to actively participate in the maturation process.
- You asked for it.
- Typically we open ourselves to growing experiences by praying for growth in a particular area of our lives. Remember in Luke 16:10 where Jesus said that if we were faithful over little things then we would also be faithful in large ones? Take a moment to consider your prayer life. Have you asked God to grow you in any way? To align your will with His? To prepare you for a new vein of ministry? Perhaps you prayed for patience, expansion, increased knowledge, enlarged territory, or something similar.
The reason for the crucifixion is not what really matters. What does matter is what you do when you are in the midst of the crucifixion. Esther took to fasting and prayer in order to hear the voice of God. Job took to worshipping God and praising Him for His greatness despite his current state. David cried out and yet still sought the voice and face of God. The greatest answer to your “why?” is that God desired to bring you closer to Him.
Tomorrow, we will close with Part III of Recovering From Anger Towards God.