“Why did I not perish at birth…?”
Job 3:11 (NIV)
Some very sincere followers of Jesus have the notion that they should never search for the meaning of things in life. They have the idea that to ask questions is clearly a demonstration of a rebellious spirit. This is the reason that some believers will not study at university because their faith may be challenged and they have no answers for the inevitable questions that would be asked on a university campus.
It is really sad that some followers of Christ refuse to grapple with the hard questions that life throws at us regardless of the direction from which the questions come. We may find questions arise in our minds when we suddenly have health issues, a failed marriage, are the object of gossip, and so on.
Be assured that sometime, somewhere in life, you are going to run into more questions than your understanding of life and God can answer.
When you are overwhelmed with trials that is not usually the time to try and find the answers you did not seek when life was good. You may cry “Why?” when your world collapses but you are not in a good position to search for answers right then.
The tough questions that thinking people ask should be heard by us when life is on an even keel and things are manageable for us. Then we may ponder the difficulties we face as believers and the faith we profess.
When we read of Job asking, “Why?” several times in Job 3, we are not to think he had forgotten his faith. The opposite is true. Job knew what God has confessed, Job is a righteous man (Job 1:8; 27:5-6). It is in light of what he believes that Job raises the question. He is not so much looking for information as he is expressing his confusion of mind.
Various times in life and especially under great duress, people will ask, “Why?” What they need is a sympathetic comment that you do not understand the crisis either. When the problem is crashing down on them they are not prepared for some profound philosophical discussion. People in pain are not up to rigorous discussion on the meaning of life.
God is quite ready to have us question Him about why the world works as it does. We may put any questions we wish to the Creator and ask for answers if that is really our concern. Often, when we are struggling with life’s issues, the Lord will draw alongside us and make some promise of Scripture known to our hearts. Such a revelation by the Lord sustains us in the difficult time.
We all have read of people who find life too much and wish to die. Never do we find anyone saying that they find the love of God to be dissatisfying.
Question God? Go ahead as long as your attitude in raising the question is not a subtle criticism of God. Be sure you are either simply crying out frustration at the pain of living, or else be certain that you are willing to accept the answer God gives. In His time, God gives honest seekers honest answers.