Wondering Why

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
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Numbers 11:11 – And Moses said to the Lord, "Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly? Have mercy on me! What did I do to deserve the burden of all these people?" (NLT)

Wondering why often leaves us wondering.

I sat in the car with my daughter's two children while my wife underwent a physical test. The three-year-old sat in the front seat with me, biding his time and asking questions.

"Pop, what is this?" he asked, pointing to one knob on the radio.

"It turns the radio on and makes it louder," I said, trying to focus on what I was doing.

"Why?" was the next question.

"I don't know. It just does."

"What about this button?" he asked, as he pointed to a button beside the first knob.

I finally told him that all the buttons in that general area worked the radio. My answer still didn't satisfy him.

"Why?" he asked.

After playing this game for every piece associated with the dashboard and exterior mirrors, I finally said, "Pop's tired of answering questions. I need to work." He stopped asking questions.

I'm glad that he has entered the inquisitive stage and wants to know things. But he's soon finding out that I don't have an answer to everything he asks, and I do eventually tire of answering his "why" inquiries.

Moses wondered why in the world God had saddled him with caring for more than a million people — people who complained most of the time, couldn't get along, had a tendency to rebel against God, and on occasion threatened to kill him. God answered his "why" question by giving him some help. God wanted those people in the Promised Land, and Moses was the person that He had chosen to lead them there. He didn't need to know why; he just needed to obey.

God's ways and will are often a mystery that He chooses not to solve in my presence. Perhaps in heaven, He'll answer some of my "why" questions — but He might not. There is nothing wrong with asking God why, but I must be prepared to experience silence. While God never tires of my asking why, He doesn't want my "whys" to come from disbelief or discouragement but from a desire for more understanding — like Moses.

Don't be afraid to ask God why, but be prepared to be kept in suspense. Following His will is a faith journey with many unanswered "whys".

Prayer: Father, when You chose not to answer our "why" questions, give us the faith and courage to keep following You. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    And isn’t that the truth!!!
    Have a good day Martin.

    Dear Martin,
    Amen, brother, amen!!
    Thank you for this, today.

    Thank you, Martin. Silence is certainly an answer. So also, is an emphatic “no”. We must be prepared to accept either in good grace.

    Thank you, Martin, for sharing this devotional with us. Yes, asking “Why” is rarely a fruitful question. “How” often brings enlightenment. Blessings.

    Hello Martin,
    I, too, have tired of a young one’s “why” questions. My stock answer (when I don’t have one) is “Why not?” The responses you get (or not) from your grandchildren AND God might be very interesting.
    Blessings on you.

    Hello Martin,
    Yes, often our Lord leaves us asking “Why Lord?” and at times it really takes our patience to wait for His answer. In the end as we trust Him, the answer is revealed and is the right one.
    Blessings for writing.

    Dear Mr. Wiles,
    Thank you for the devotional. I think it is often good to ask God “WHY.”
    He may not choose to answer, but he may. And we can have something HOLY to learn sometimes if he answers our “WHY.”
    I also like your Prayer.
    Keep writing.

    Needed to hear this today, Martin. Why? Faith for me, too, is the only answer. Was up in the middle of the night, holding my husband’s hand as we both wept and prayed together. Thank God that there IS an answer, as you say. And that is the faith that grows in us as we wait on the One who has called us to Him.
    Thank you especially for these words.

    Good morning Martin,
    Good devotional. There are indeed many events in our lives, when we too wonder why.
    Thank you for writing


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