Interjecting our Why

Vol. 7, No. 00– January 2, 2022

I saw her do it again, and again. She wept while she prayed. Someone asked her why she wept. She replied I do not know why, there is just something inside of me that makes me cry. Why do you ask? I have never thought much about it. I guess I weep because I feel the need to do that.

You might have better asked why I pray. Would that sound like a peculiar question? I do not know why, I just pray.

She was back the next week, weeping and praying.

How do you respond in your prayer life? I have found myself in tears many times. At times for a wayward child. These days, for a grandchild that struggles with the truths of life. We need to ask ourselves the “why” questions. It helps us to stay honest before our holy God.

Jesus is good at asking “why” questions. I teach in one of our Church Community Groups. It is a great group. I get to ask some “why” questions. It draws attention, and our folks rarely allow a question to go by without responding. Sometimes the response intends to move us on because the “why” question might be touching an emotion.

Jesus observed a man at the Sheep Gate, at a pool called Bethesda. The man was an invalid for 38 years, paralyzed. He was attempting to get into the pool for healing. He had been there many times but was unsuccessful in getting in the pool first. The Jews believed there was healing in the pool, but rules had to be followed.

Jesus simply asks a question: Do you want to be healed? It is almost like saying, why are you here; what do you want? The man offers an indirect reply. We are good at that as well. If he realized to whom he was giving a response, would he have phrased his words differently? Why?

Jesus said to him, Get up, take up your bed, and walk! The man was at once healed, and he took up his bed and walked (John 5:1-9).

How often has Jesus asked us similar questions? The “why” questions. Often, folks that get into a place of life where their struggle is harsh, give up and try to be comfortable in their sitz im laben (situation of life). We offer excuses for our situations. We cast our hope on a few people that have entered our lives. We offer that nothing is going to change but we go through the motions anyway.

Life Application

What are you intending to do when Jesus stands in front of you (or in our case, the Holy Spirit)? The question comes to us, What do you want? Why? And then we consider, should God provide for this thing, what do I owe? Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7). So, instead of us responding, we ask the preacher to pray or ask; we ask our Bible study leader to pray or ask—just seems the right thing to do. After all, they have a direct cell phone, do they not?

For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened (Matthew 7:8).

When we are asking, why is a good question? It does not place God in a hard spot. When I was in seminary, the professor in my Hebrew class always encouraged us to ask “why” questions of the text. It is a good way to dialogue with the holy God. Why? Because He wants you to have the answers you need.

We are, in 2022, going to plow through some tough questions—at least be challenged to ask “why.”

Hopefully, you have already begun to read the Bible through for 2022. Why not journal or buy a bunch of legal pads to list your questions. Leave some space for the answer. God likes to dialogue.

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

January 2, 2022

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