I like reason. I like to know everything behind an idea, everything behind a request, and everything behind a rule. Backstories are my specialties, and as a child, my favorite word was a simple question. Why?
The problem for me with the word why started in church. According to my teachers as a child, you aren’t supposed to ask God why. You aren’t supposed to ask why God made giraffes giraffes, or why he decided to make the sun be daytime. You aren’t supposed to ask him why he put you in your family, or why he didn’t send someone besides his only son to die. You aren’t supposed to ask why, even when a family member dies, or someone hurts you so badly you doubt you’ll ever be the same again.
I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to ask why.
And in fact, I still don’t.
As Christians, for some reason we seem to have been conditioned for easy believism. As Americans, we’re taught to take things exactly as they are. It’s all for a test, so as long as you can spout out whatever the teacher was teaching you, you have no reason to understand the why behind the fact.
But we aren’t supposed to just settle for what’s handed to us.
The Bible says, “Prove all things, hold fast to which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) We are supposed to ask WHY. Why do we believe the Bible? Why do we believe in God? Why does our faith make us act differently than the world around us? WHY?
One of my favorite books in the Bible is Job. I know, I know, a lot of people find it really depressing, but I personally don’t. Why? Because here is one book in the Bible where we see a conversation between God and a man who is suffering. And what does Job do?
He asks why?
And God answers him. Now, God doesn’t answer him with an easy answer, or even with an answer that you and I would want. God answers him, and God asks Job to trust. Because God is the God who hung the moon in the sky and created the great depth of ocean, and all of the things in-between. And maybe when you ask why, that will be your answer.
I also love the minor prophets for the same reason. Here are small books that are often overlooked by the church today. Books filled with truth, filled with conversations God has with men like you and me. And these prophets as God why. In some of the books, they argue with God, they run from God, and yet.
God doesn’t strike them dead. He doesn’t turn his back on them. He isn’t enraged that his chosen men are asking him why.
Instead, he answers them.
We should ask why. The Christian religion should be full of why’s. We should search for the answers, question the answers, and search some more. We should never settle for a “because.” Unless we know it’s something that just is. Like gravity.
What are some why’s that you are wondering about right now?