Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pastor's Perspective - The Power of 'Who'

Can I make a true confession?

This world is losing its hold on me.

I know. That sounds kind of religious. Something Paul would say, right?

But I mean it.

I just celebrated my forty-ninth year on the planet, and my sites are on what’s next. The more trips around the sun I take, the more headlines I read, the more tragedy and heartache I experience as a man and pastor, the more I realize there must be more – more than this. I’m grateful that through Christ - there is!

I’m not depressed. I promise! I’m just over it. I’ve found firsthand that this world offers me nothing but confusion, chaos, randomness, disillusionment and questions.

As a member of the clergy, the most common question I’m asked is ‘why’ ‘Steve, why did this happen to me?’ ‘Why me?’ ‘Why now?’

God made each of us ‘meaning machines’. We want to know why. We claw for sense. We strive for understanding, for our reason to be satisfied, for the puzzle pieces to neatly fit together. Yet, this life offers very little to quench our thirst for real answers.

Job, a character synonymous with suffering in the Bible, spends chapter-after-chapter asking the question ‘why’

It’s simply what we do. We want to know why. Something to make sense. Something or someone to delegate blame.

Let me ask you a question.

Even if you knew all of the ‘why’s, would it really take the pain away?


Would it change anything? The pain persists. The consequences remain. Yes, maybe a churning black cloud dissipates, but, the storm and its effects persist.

After all of Job’s many ‘why's, God swiftly reminded him that the greatest question to satisfy in times of trouble is not ‘why’ - but instead ‘who’

God makes it abundantly clear that His thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). To truly and completely understand God’s ‘whys’ would require you to possess the very mind of God – an utter impossibility.

Throughout Scripture, the Lord never guarantees to scratch our ‘why’ itches; however, He offers us something supremely greater – Himself! - His unconditional love and eternal friendship – no matter how harsh the season.

Let’s face it. When the walls cave in – ‘why’ offers mere forensics; but ‘who’ brings peace and hope, no matter how challenging the hour.

So, in the strains and pains of this fleeting life, take a moment and ask the ‘why’ Again, it’s normal to do so. The Father knows our need for meaning. However, while treading the frigid towering waves of life, remember that your greatest need is not ‘why’ the storm is happening – but instead for a hand of help – a hand that can hold you firmly – a hand that refuses to let you go under.

‘Why’ is predictable, but ‘Who’ makes all the difference!

*This post inspired by my reading of the highly recommended book ‘Torn’ by Jud Wilhite.

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