Friday, April 3, 2009

Wrestling with Why

After a careless walk through a freshly mowed field, my daughter came running into the house, wildly brushing at her ankles. With a look of total frustration, she exclaimed, “Why did God Create ants?!” As I grabbed the calamine lotion from the bathroom medicine cabinet, I responded, “I have no idea. Let’s ask Him when we see Him!”

Have you ever asked God Why? “Why does He allow His servants to suffer?” “Why do cheaters often appear to win?” I must admit, the more answers I stumble upon in my journey of faith, the less I seem to fully understand. God uses the unqualified and exalts the meek. He cures some people from terminal illness and heals others by ushering them to Heaven.

In wrestling through the whys in my life, I’ve often thought I might do things differently if I were God. I’d probably choose the strongest and most influential folks to carry out my work. Certainly I’d only select leaders with unwavering faith and steadfast obedience. Criminals would always suffer and the righteous would always prosper.

But truth be known, if God operated according to my set of standards, the woman in my mirror would never qualify to work for the Kingdom of God. She is often weak. At times, she struggles desperately to walk faithfully with God. And sadly, she frequently fails to display the righteous behavior that God deserves from His “servants.”

Yes, I might have created a world without annoying ants, creepy cockroaches (there’s a why!), or the nuisance of bees, but in my diligence I would have produced a planet without amusing creatures like anteaters, the beauty of flowers, or the sweetness of honey.

In Isaiah 55:8-9 the Lord says,

For my thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (NIV).

I do not always understand the ways of God. But I marvel at the beauty He frequently generates from the ashes of tragedy. I am continually amazed that He so often chooses mercy when others might opt for wrath. And I am continually in awe of His ability to transform the rebellious and restore the broken.

I have asked my Lord “why” on more than one occasion. But the question with which I most often struggle? Why would He send His Son to die so that He could have a relationship with someone as flawed as me? Yes, I question...but I am eternally grateful that God’s ways are far higher than mine. (I guess I can put up with the ants.)

Mindy Ferguson

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