Why ?

Some time ago, a woman called, asking me to give her passages from the Bible to make her feel better about the death of her daughter. I told her I didn’t have any and that her daughter’s death would cause her pain for the rest of her life. I don’t know “why” her daughter died. I told her if she knew “why,” she could write a book and make millions of dollars. Here are some possible reasons – 

  • We live in fallen bodies in a fallen world where the curse has yet to be lifted
  • Maybe her daughter made a bad decision that resulted in her death
  • Maybe someone else made a bad decision that resulted in her daughter’s death
  • Maybe she was in the wrong place at the wrong time

The premise behind this woman’s request was that if I know the reason, I can better live with the result; knowing the reason will bring a measure of relief. I think this is a faulty premise. Let’s apply this to the reasons listed above.

  • We live in fallen bodies in a fallen world where the curse has yet to be lifted. So what? Why, out of all possible daughters, was it my daughter the curse claimed? I live in a fallen body in a fallen world; why didn’t I die instead?
  • My daughter made a bad decision. Others make worse decisions, and they live.
  • Someone else made a bad decision that resulted in my daughter’s death. This doesn’t bring me relief; it only increases my bitterness. 
  • So what that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time? In God’s providence, He could have protected her. 

Again, here’s the premise – If I know the reason, I can better live with the result; knowing the reason will bring some measure of relief. The premise of the premise is that I will gain peace through knowledge. The right kind of information will bring me serenity. We seek answers in theology, and God is offering us something else, something more

Theology is the study of God. But peace doesn’t come through the study of God. It comes through a relationship with God. We want answers, and God offers Himself to us. We want to satisfy the curiosity of the intellect, and God wants to fill the emptiness of our souls. A satisfied intellect can never fill the emptiness of the soul. A satisfied intellect can never heal the pain of a soul. Our greatest challenge isn’t unanswered questions but empty souls. When I’m seeking reasons, God desires to give me revelation. When I’m thrashing around for answers, God is calling me to abide. My greatest need is not answers. My greatest need is His presence.

This is so clearly seen in the book of Psalms. The Psalmist isn’t seeking answers; he is seeking God. The one who cries out isn’t seeking to fill his mind with reasons; he is seeking to fill his soul with God’s presence. Read anywhere in the Psalms, and you’ll find a soul seeking God rather than answers. It is God’s presence that brings peace. The Psalmist knows what it means to abide in the Lord. He knows what it means to fill an empty soul with the presence of the living God. 

The older I get in Christ, the less I know, yet deeper is the peace I experience. When I was fresh out of Bible College, I knew it all. Yet, I didn’t fully experience Christ’s peace and joy. With the humility of knowing less, a greater place is created for Christ’s peace and joy. When I was younger, I could have told that mother “why” her daughter died. Now, I just weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. My ministry has migrated from my head to my soul. I minister out of my soul now and not just my intellect. 

Where I once sought satisfaction in answers and reason, my soul is now content with Presence. I realize that there is no fully satisfying answer for some things, yet His Presence fully satisfies. For things like the death of a daughter, what reason could wipe away the tears of the soul? Yet His Presence sanctifies the tears of the soul and brings rest to the weary mind. Jesus cried out, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Jesus didn’t promise answers; He promised rest. Where my ministry once sought to satisfy the mind with answers from the Bible, I now seek to quiet the soul with the rest of Christ. 

The soul is not satisfied with answers. The soul is satisfied with Christ. I don’t know why that woman’s daughter died, yet I know that Christ can satisfy her soul. Even with ongoing pain, Christ can satisfy her soul. I don’t know why some things in my life have unfolded the way they have. I could have great grief and bitterness if I allowed these things any authority in my life, but my soul is satisfied in Christ. Abraham cried out, “Will not the Judge of the earth do right?” And my answer is, “Yes, He will, and He has, and He will continue to do so.” I don’t need to have all the answers anymore. My soul is satisfied with Christ. I don’t rest in reasons. I rest in Christ. He is enough.

4 thoughts on “Why ?”

  1. Whao! Jesus is enough and only Him can satisfy my soul. I shouldn’t seek answers but His presence.
    Thank you for this article.

  2. Very profound – and true. News broadcasters world-wide tell us we must know the ‘why’ in order to have closure. But as you say, only the presence of Jesus in our souls will grant us abiding peace within. Thank you for your extraordinary post, Tim.

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