As all parents know, every child’s favourite question is why: ‘Why do I have to go to bed now?’ ‘Why can’t I watch TV?’ This is not just a passing phase that the child will grow out of, their why question will continue throughout life.
In fact, the hard reality is, even as adults, they will keep on asking, why. When their parent is struck down with Alzheimer’s or a friend has cancer, or when their own children are plagued with problems, they will ask the same question.
Many Christians turn to the book of Job in unsettling times because why was his favourite question, too. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote: ‘He who knows the why can bear with any how.’ That seems to be what Job thought, and that’s what we often mistakenly think as well.
Yet, in the whole of Job (42 chapters), God never answers the why question. Instead, he shows Job that knowing who is far more important than knowing why. If you get to know the who, any why will be okay. Like a parent who becomes exhausted at the end of a child’s string of why questions and answers, ‘Because I said so’, God must often tell us, ‘Trust me, even when you don’t get answers.’ We are to live by faith ― not just with the first step of our journey but with every step.
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. (Psalm 46:10)