TELL ME WHY, TELL ME WHY…
It is banquet season here at our Teen Challenge. In all, we do seven banquets, and believe me, it is an amazing and yet taxing time. Staff and student alike work incredibly hard, and by the last few banquets everyone is tired. It is amazing to me to see how God works through and in our staff and students during this time – even through all the glitches and mishaps…. yes glitches and mishaps. Just like life, our banquets has their fair share of “issues and situations”. For example, during our first banquet a gentleman who was helping us to set up accidentally dropped a heavy table on my leg – of course it was the leg I had had surgery on. I didn’t want him to feel bad, so I minimized it. Every banquet since, the pain my leg has been a reminder of things that can go wrong and of things that can have lasting effects.
Today, due to banquets, and me trying to give my staff time off, I am the only “staff” – period. Today I am Pastor, Women’s Director, Adviser, and so on. So, I got to be the one to teach this morning’s bible class at the center. During the class, the question was raised as to “WHY” bad things happens. Why the mishaps, the glitches… or worse… Why do people leave us; why do people get sick and die; why aren’t so many of us immediately delivered from our addictions? Why, tell me why? And of course the answer is simple, right? There has to be an easy, pat, placating answer to give to these wide-eyed, spiritually hungry students. My friend, if you believe that, I have some million dollar swamp land in Florida to sell ya! There are NO easy answers. Yes, there are lots of opinions and speculations, but there are often NO easy answers with nice, neat, black and white solutions. So, how do we come to grips with the “hard” things in life? How do we justify an unexpected tragedy when we serve a loving, all knowing God? How do we find the strength to forgive someone elses transgression that brings pain and sorrow in our lives? How do we sleep at night when there are so many “whys” that we don’t seem to have the answers for?
There are many “how to” programs – some with great advice. There are amazingly talented counselors and advisers who deal with a diversity of “issues”. There is a lot of good literature out there that will help us “deal” with what is bugging us. AND, that is all well and good; but in and of itself it falls extremely short. Those are all tools, and we need to make sure they are tools calibrated by the right source. What is the right source? There is ONLY once true source: THE WORD OF GOD! Man’s opinions are just that – man’s opinions, which are limited at best. All our answers to life’s struggles are found in the Word. The bottom line answer being FAITH in what God says. We must never forget that without faith it is impossible to please God. Without faith we will live in fear or in a constant state of “let down” because our source of help is limited.
When we struggle; when things just don’t make sense; when we face a future that, on the surface seems so bleak… let’s do the following:
- Make this scripture our friend and say, I will “trust in the Lord with all my heart, lean not unto my own understanding, in all my ways I will acknowledge Him and I know He will direct my paths. (Prov. 3:5&6) Face it, there are going to be things we will never in this lifetime understand. We have to acknowledge the fact that we are not God, that we are finite and that He is infinite. Either we believe in God and His word or we don’t. Either we believe He has our best interests at heart or we don’t. Either we believe God or the philosophies of this world and the devil. We have to ask ourselves: Who do we have faith in? Ourselves? Today’s self-help gurus? Or the God who sent His son to die for us?
- Stand on the promises in God’s Word! Example: Psalm 103 says He will heal ALL our diseases. Take that promise and quote it back to Him and ourselves. If God says it, believe it! Note that God’s promises come with conditions. Example: Delight yourself in the Lord and He will grant you the desires of your heart. We have to “delight” ourselves in Him as a prerequisite to receiving the desires of our hearts.
- Pray, pray and pray some more! There is amazing power in prayer!
- Surround yourself with people who encourage you. Get rid of the naysayers! We need people who will “spur us onto good works”; not “Job’s comforters” who will just about tell us to curse God and die.
- Declare the truth as an act of faith. There is life and death in the tongue – declare life into the situation.
- Stand, don’t run! I don’t care what is going on around us, we need to stand!
- Remember, as it says in Isaiah, we are at perfect peace when our eyes are stayed on Christ!
Why, tell me why? I may not have all the answers. I may not be able to give you the reason “why”. But I do know the one who IS the answer in each and every situation. #Godisalwaystheanswer