Sometimes It's Okay To Not Know Why

In the midst of suffering, our instinct is to ask, “Why?”

We want meaning, clarity, assurance that this pain is necessary for some wonderful gain. But we rarely get that. Instead, we get silence. And that often leads to despair.

Have you ever felt that way?

Wondering, desperately, WHY? But not getting any answer… and knowing you probably won’t get an answer this side of eternity?

You’re not alone. Most Christians throughout history have wondered that, perhaps none so clearly and passionately as the psalmists. Reading through the Psalms you’ll find, again and again, confusion and perplexity in the midst of troubling circumstances.

We live in a fallen world and, though we know the ultimate answer to, “Why?” (Romans 8:28), we long to get the smaller, local, more personal answer. Why am I going through this right now? Why is my loved one, my country, my church, etc.?

In family Bible Study at my church, we’re studying the Psalms together. And we’re running up against these sufferers’ questions, pleas, prayers, and laments. And one thing we’re learning is that it’s okay to not know why.

That is, if you ultimately believe in God’s plan of redemption and salvation.

Those were the psalmists. They were deeply troubled and hurt by suffering around them and they expressed that to God.

They teach us that it’s okay to just rest in the fact that our world is fallen and that hurts.

They teach us it’s okay to ask why, be confused, mourn and grieve.

That is, if we truly trust that God is sovereign and good.

Maybe you’re in the middle of a hard season right now, and you’re asking why. Learn from the psalmists’ perplexity and know that’s okay. It’s okay to not know the answers but to recognize that you don’t need to know.

And at the end of the day, for God’s people, that’s enough.


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