Why Is This Happening?


A heart attack at 43 - why is this happening? 

Have you wished God would specifically answer why He is allowing certain difficulties in your life? We look at what is happening in our lives or in our world, and it seems to make no sense or even feels unfair. If only we could understand exactly what God was trying to do.

I wrestled with the “why” question when our family moved to Wisconsin. Yes, I knew it was God’s provision, but for many reasons it did not make sense to me. After our move it made even less sense when my husband had a major heart attack within the first year at 43 years old. We were far from our established support system and family. Why did God allow this now?

Rebekah, one of Israel's matriarchs, was blessed with the opportunity in having her “why” question answered. Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, had a very difficult time becoming pregnant. God had said to her and Isaac that he was going to build a great nation through the progeny of their marriage (Genesis 26:3), but after 20 years there was no child in sight. What was God doing?

Finally, she became pregnant in an answer to prayer, but it was not going as planned. She did not realize that she was carrying twins, and the pregnancy was difficult and scary. She cried out to God, "Why is this happening to me?" (not, “Is the baby okay?")

And guess what? God gave her the answer to her burning question!

Rebekah now knew why this was happening (see Genesis 26:19-27 for more details). This should have meant that Rebekah could trust God and everything was going to be okay. Except that it didn't. And it wasn't.

Instead, it gave her an excuse to show favoritism to her son, Jacob, and drive a wedge between her and her other son Esau as well as with Isaac. When circumstances seemed to be putting roadblocks up against the knowledge God had given her, she decided to take matters into her own hands (on behalf of God of course) to make the "right thing" happen. You can read about her manipulation and deceit in Genesis 27.

The end result? A legacy of favoritism (Genesis 37:3), broken relationships (Genesis 27:41), and manipulation (Genesis 27:35, 29:25). We learn from Rebekah that knowing the "why” to our difficulties can lead to pride and brokenness, not necessarily faith and freedom.  

In contrast, when Job asked God the big "why" question, God didn’t give him the answer. Instead, God asked a few questions of his own:

" ...I have some questions for you (Job) and I want some answers! Where were you when I created the earth?...Who decided on its size? ...How was its foundation poured?" (Job 38:1-11)

God then takes Job on a tour of His creation all the while asking Job if he could appreciate God’s beauty, provision, and design. He never does answer Job’s question.

Maybe this is God's point- It's more important to know what kind of God He is and trust Him for our life circumstances than it is to know all the answers. 

Our family struggled with many uncertainties during our early years in Appleton, Wisconsin. I still don’t have all the answers regarding God’s timing and purpose with my husband's heart attack. Nevertheless, God proved Himself faithful, present, and trustworthy. 

It's not to say we can't wrestle with the “why”s of life, but ultimately our greatest need is not to know "why", but to know Who and is He enough?

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