I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer.
You are yourself the answer.
Before your face questions die away.
What other answer would suffice?
~ C.S. Lewis ~
My husband tells the toddlerhood story of sitting in his high chair, kicking, swinging his legs and pushing himself backwards from the table. After a stern warning from his parents, he continued his antics, giggling like any small child would. Pretty soon, the chair crashed backwards, leaving him in an incredulous heap on the floor, looking up at his parents and asking, “Why didn’t you catch me?”
Looking back, he laughs. It was a pretty silly question to ask, one his parents didn’t bother to answer. his mom just gathered him up, sat him on her lap and rubbed his head until the tears stopped.
We like to ask the Lord all kinds of silly questions like that. When we sin, we wonder why He let us face the consequences of our actions. When we are feeling distraught, we wonder where He is and why He’s not right there holding our hands. When circumstances are painful, we wonder why He just doesn’t fix it so we don’t have to hurt.
But the truth is, He’s always there, in every situation, holding us, helping us, walking with us. We usually are in too much hurt to notice. Most of the time, even if He answered us, we wouldn’t pay attention to His answer because we were too busy feeling the pain and discomfort of the moment. So He sits quietly by, waiting for us to calm down and seek Him out.
I was always taught never to ask God the “why” questions. But the older I get, the more I understand it’s a part of the healing process to ask. Whether He answers or not, I need to ask.
If I don’t ask Him why when the bad things happen, I usually bottle up my pain, increasing the pressure, anger and bitterness I feel. I close up emotionally and build walls between God and me. Asking helps keep the lines of communication open between my heavenly Father and me.
Maybe that’s why we experience so much spiritual growth during the painful times of our lives rather than in the good times. We need Him when we hurt. We are more willing to draw near to Him – yes, even more willing to fume at Him. In some ways, we become consumed with Him, either by raging at Him or pouring all our energies into trying to ignore Him. We become hot or cold..
To ask Him “why” and even to beat on His chest in our frustration allows us to vent those harmful feelings in a safe place – His arms. His chest is broad and His arms are strong. He can handle our emotional outbursts. Then when we’ve poured it all out, we can finally sense His embrace and the comfort of His beating heart, in the place where nothing else matters but Him.