Why did this happen, God?

Posted on by Sanders Shumway

We're simply far more likely to accept a change if we understand the reason for it. Interestingly, our acceptance seems to hinge less on how much we like the reason and more on how much sense the reason makes to us. Even if the change fails to benefit us—even if it causes us harm in some way—if our sense of fairness is satisfied, we're far more likely to accept and even embrace it. “Alex Lickerman M.D.”

I think Abraham would have agreed with this statement, I know I do. I’m one of those people that really needs to know why something happens or is going to happen. It helps me make sense of tragedy and trials. I need to know that there is a purpose to things, a plan, not just random evil that has no boundaries or rules. Not chaos at work.

When The Lord was on His way to evaluate the behavior of Sodom and Gomorrah He decided to let Abraham in on what was going to take place. Maybe because Abraham had family and friends there or maybe because he had such a keen sense of fairness, whatever the reason, it was important to The Lord to let him in on it.

Abraham being true to his nature sought to reconcile the person he knew as his God to the person he saw in front on him. This coming action was not one he was comfortable with. Keeping in mind that Abraham had taken retribution against the kings that had captured Lot, his family and possessions and bound them into captivity. His sense of justice and fairness was keen. So Abraham questions the action that The Lord is about to take. Perhaps because he did not see what The Lord saw, he didn’t have the inside knowledge that was The Lord’s. He sought to make sure the action fit the behavior. He was justified in his slaughter of Lot’s captors, was The Lord justified in the destruction of a whole city. He had to know.

And so he questions, looks for answers in his attempts to minimize the damage. If there are even 10 people The Lord finally states to Abrahams negotiations, I’ll spare the city and its people. The Lord knows they aren’t there, Abraham knows Lot and his family won’t make the 10 people cut off.

Why? Not only will this wipe out an entire area, it will change the economic future of Abraham’s nephew whom he loves. Is it going to make things better for him, will it provide a blessing in the end. What will happen as a result of these things? I need to know that you are who You say You are and that the promises I have set my hope on are real and reliable.

What and how God does what He does matters to our faith or at least to mine. I have struggled through many trials and tribulations in my life’s course and understanding God’s plan for me through these things matters. I can’t, won’t believe I am some sort of tug of war rope strung between two beings battling over my soul. It goes against God’s

assurance that He is in control over everything, from the forming of galaxies to the fall of my ever thinning hair. He knows, even planned for it for some reason that eludes me.

In the end Abraham was satisfied with the answers and reasons The Lord gave him. To be fair The Lord had given him the opportunity to alter the outcome if possible and had options had been explored and rejected due to acceptable reasons. He discovered that The Lord was fair and that what was going to happen wasn’t some random act of evil but a necessary part of a greater picture or course. Abraham could rest in the greater comfort of knowing his personal promise was safe as well. Not subject to some side shot incident that would throw the whole hope he had into a tailspin.

In the end this is my worry, concern that somehow the hope I have in Jesus can be altered due to some random act on my part or on the part of someone I’m attached to. The promise is at best unstable because some tragedy is just waiting to happen that will chop the legs out from under my faith. I need to know the strategy, how this fits into the development of my promise. Thomas doubted what his eyes did not see, he needed to be sure. I too need to understand; surely a God who desires to befriend us is willing to include us in things that will impact us. I can look at Abraham and now that this is true.

I don’t need to know the future just how what has happened fits, works, will work. That there is some good reason for what has been allowed to happen, that what was meant for evil really can result in a good outcome. Because He is still in control and He is fair and He does know what He is doing. Faith is built on experience, understanding and belief and ultimately trust. When a situation moves to the past, I want it to build my faith not tear at it. I want to know for certain that I am in safe hands, under protective wings, covered.

But even as I write this I am aware of the very reason for this, as Abraham negotiated I think he came to the same conclusion. That is why he let it go at 10 people, he was satisfied. He knew that he was dealing with someone who was as interested in justice and fairness as he was. Someone you could put your trust in, place your hope in what He had promised. I don’t have a promise like Abraham, but I do have a promise. And not just the broad hope of salvation but a personal promise. Something that Satan has tried to undermine throughout my whole life. The many events that have thrown doubt across my path have caused me to question the reality of it and the one who spoke it.

As I ask why I too become satisfied that the person that has made a promise to me is reliable, even though it doesn’t seem possible, He assures me that it is. He continues on with His plan of action and I’m satisfied that He is still the one in control. Not the world, its systems or programs, not the devil, not evil and not me. He is. He encourages me and my faith by involving me, the way he intended to involve me when He shaped me in my mother’s womb. It was no surprise to Him when Abraham

questioned His motives and it’s no surprise to Him that I do. It is how He made me, why I don’t know, but it is His plan.

Perhaps through my vocalization of what concerns me He is able to reinforce His role in my life. He is able to illuminate the hooks and tugs of the one who tries to usurp His authority over me. He is able to restore the seat of power in my heart, His seat. When our encounters end I walk away strong again and He walks on to do exactly what He was going to do before I needed to talk. Nothing changes except my perspective. But that is everything; it makes the difference between acceptance and resistance, embracing and rejection. And He knows that.

Val Keeney wrote this blog. She is the Office Administrator at Minot YFC.

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