Why? It’s a question often asked in various ways: Why me? Why not me? Why now? Why not now? Why did this happen? Why didn’t this happen? Why do bad things happen? Why does God allow it?
There have been a handful of things happen in my half century of living that have made me wonder why. Why is this a part of my story? You don’t have to know what those things are to relate to the wonder of why. I’m sure you’ve had a handful too.
God has been gracious and used different chapters of my story book to help others, to connect with people and offer hope in their own journey. What about the other chapters? The ones not complete. The wonder of why-is-this-part-of-my-story. Can I trust Him with the rest of the book?
The Israelites had many of the same questions after fleeing the harsh treatment of Pharaoh. As God as their guide they found themselves in a no win situation with the Red sea in front of them and the Egyptian army breathing down their backs, gaining ground every second.
Their situation seemed impossible and they wondered why God would do this. Why would he free them only to lead them into a trap with no way out?
God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, even though it was nearby; for God said, “The people will change their minds and return to Egypt if they face war.” So he led the people around toward the Red Sea along the road of the wilderness. (Exodus 13:17-18CSB)
God knew they were weak from years of mistreatment. He knew they could not battle this army and win. So why doesn’t God just wipe out the Egyptian army. Stories had passed down from generation to generation about the mighty hand of God working through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
He wiped out the city of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned a woman into a pillar of salt. He wiped out the earth with a flood. He made the barren bear children.
Where was He now?
I think he wanted to show them a new thing as they began their journey into freedom because sometimes the best lessons are learned on the road of wilderness.
Most will know the rest of the story. The Red Sea parted and millions of Israelites walked across on dry ground, escaping the wrath of Pharaoh’s army. Speaking of which, God destroyed that army but in such a way the Israelites had never seen or heard tell of.
God does some of his finest work in the world of impossibilities, when the odds are stacked against his people. He loves for us to be still and watch him show us his glory.
Can I trust Him with the why when I’m facing the Red Sea? When the enemy is slithering with whispers of doubt and gaining ground on my faltering faith? Yes. Yes I can.
He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. He is the same God that guides us on the road to the wilderness not only because it’s the best way but also to show us things we’ve never seen before.
We need only be still and watch him work in our story.
Can I trust Him? Yes. My faith has to be founded in the character of God Himself and not in the why of my story. What can look like a contradiction, I have to leave in God’s hands. I may not like the why. I may not understand the why. But I have a choice: either He is God or He is not. Either He is the same God that can part the Red Sea of impossibility or He is not.
Can I trust Him? Yes. I’m placing my why in His hands so He can do a new thing, something I’ve not seen before. You can too.