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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