Why? What?

“Why?”

Inherent in this one word question is a search for answers

A pursuit of information or understanding

 

Sometimes it is rooted in childlike curiosity

At other times, it is a desperate cry in the face of the previously unimagined

That which turns “them” into me, to us

Making us intimate members of a group about which we had only heard of before …

 

The bereaved

Survivors of an earthquake or other natural disasters

Or personal events with an emotional impact of tsunami like proportions

 

The betrayed or the betrayer

The divorced

The fired

The suddenly unemployed

The previous homeowner whose house is now in foreclosure

The evicted

The newly diagnosed

The parent of a child with mental health or developmental challenges

The list can go on and on

 

There is another question that I was taught years ago

One that I am still learning to turn to

One that moves me away from the default question, “Why?”

From what is often the futility of reaching for and even demanding

Answers that God in His sovereignty may not provide on this side of eternity

 

The other question is “What?”

“What will I do with what has happened?”

Because I truly do have a choice in how I respond

And, more times than I like, my response is all I have control over

 

Experience has taught me that I may not be able to voice this question immediately

Not while the aftershocks are still being felt

Not during the time when emotions are raw and disorientation common

Then, my need is not for answers but for comfort and strength and abundant grace

And family and friends who hug freely without the need to speak

Especially trite statements that provoke and even wound instead of heal

 

But at some point, if I am to truly live in my new normal

Live without resentment and bitterness and anger and self-pity

Or a sense of having been somehow or somewhat betrayed by my Father

I must sit with the “What?” question

“What will I do with what has happened?”

Hold on to it?

Or turn it over to the Father?

And accept His beauty for my ashes?

His oil of joy for my mourning?

The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness?

Allow Him to use, as He sees fit, what He permitted in my life?

Let His strength be demonstrated in my weakness?

 

“What will I do with what has happened?

It is a question that no one can answer for us

But it is question for which the answer or answers

Will shape us and our “after the … lives,”

As well as others to whom we are connected

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