“O God, why have you utterly cast us off?
why is your wrath so hot against the sheep of your pasture?”
‘Why’ is the most common question in all of life. It’s asked by toddlers, teenagers, and adults over and over. I guess you could say the question of why is asked because people are so inquisitive and wish to learn. However, in reality, the answers to most all our ‘why’ questions are obvious, but we ask anyway. Perhaps we don’t want to believe the answer we know?
Of all people, the toddler has the right to ask why; the child needs to learn. But, for the rest of us we’ve learned many things the hard way already, and don’t like the answers we’ve received. So, we ask why. Why did things turn out like this? Why did this or that happen? And, the really big one – why God? Why did YOU let this happen?
Lent Is Also for Contemplation
Another part of the Lenten season is setting aside time for meditation and contemplation. We need contemplative times in our lives to reflect on the way things are. We need to reflect in order to discern what God would have us learn. In our ‘why’ questions, we often blame God for things that are our fault. To realize and accept our own fault is to see the need to change, and sadly that’s often our last alternative.
Won’t you spend some time in contemplation today? Contemplation is the companion of prayer. Thursday is a day for remembering Jesus’ contemplative, prayerful time in the garden. In many ways, the season of Lent is our garden of Gethsemane. We are asking God to shape us after His will through our disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
God Always Answers
The psalmist often asked God why, because he didn’t want to admit that the problems he faced were consequences of his own sinful choices. It’s okay to ask God why. In fact, it’s a natural reaction in an attempt to understand one’s circumstances. If we are truly searching for answers, we can trust God to lead us to them. We can trust God to lead us deep into our own conscience to see how we have gone astray. Then, we can see the real question is not, “Why God?” but, “Why me?”. Why did I make those choices? And, most importantly, when we have humbled ourselves and repented of our sin…we can trust God to raise us from the ashes.
Grace & Peace for a Holy Lent,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”