On Asking “Why?”

Often, I find myself wanting to ask God just one simple question, “Why?”  The pain and suffering we see a loved one going through………the sudden, random acts of violence which shatter lives drastically……the unfairness or undeserving rewards to those who cheat the system time and time again…..–the list could go on and on, regarding situations which stir up emotions of doubt and despair. 

Whenever I find myself in a state of isolation and confusion, I turn to a  passage in the Bible which gives me a solid answer. Isaiah 55:8 states, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

heart

God is simply stating a fact that we already know: He is the ONE in control. His thoughts and His ways far exceed our comprehension, and we will waste our time dwelling on the complexities of it all. It’s a matter of trusting that God is who He says He is. His Will is perfect and will be carried out in His timing. It’s that simple.

I think it’s our human nature to question why things happen and to seek reasonable explanations. However, we must never have the attitude that we are deserving of such a response from an omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God.

There are times where all we can do is pray for understanding and acceptance of God’s Holy Will. Submitting to His higher standard of care and regard for our well-being is all that is required.  It might not stop our questioning “why?”, yet it should ease our minds to know that His Words are truth and waver not.

Whiter than snow

erie snow pic2

Ah….don’t ‘cha just love these unpredictable storm systems that visit the northwestern      Pennsylvania area this time of year? Blue, sunny skies can quickly transform into an ominous lake-effect storm. Or vice versa. I have found that a “lake-effect” monster lives by its own terms–it can punch out two inches or two feet of frozen precipiation! He’s usually not welcomed very heartily here…..

Once the snow has fallen and the road plows have done their business, the roads are fairly easy to travel on once again. That’s one of the benefits to living in an area which is used to heavy seasonal snowfalls. Most of us have learned not to plan our lives around the weather, but forge ahead with plans, despite the weather conditions.

This wacky winter weather can be so frustrating for car owners. The car wash industry is abounding with customers, eager to rinse off the salt debris and frozen chunks. If you live on a country road, especially a dirt one, it doesn’t take too long for that evidence to show–leaving a filmy soot-like coating all over your vehicle! The effects from the stormy weather leaves a tell-all sign that it had come and did its damage, doesn’t it?

Our sins leave a similar residue, only not in such an obvious way for others to see. But there is One who sees all.

Psalm 51 is a powerful portrayal of one who has their heart covered in crud. David uses the expression “wash me” twice in this passage, to describe his awareness of a need to be cleansed. The filthy stains of sin had congested his heart, and he was wallowing in the murkiness, unable to remove it in his own strength. He realized the uncleanness of his condition and yearned for restoration and forgiveness. The conviction David was feeling, was a result of recognizing the power and purity of a Holy God. Its removal is mandatory in order to re-establish a pure communication once again. Until David pleaded for pardon, the stains would remain.

As believers in Christ, this cleansing process is something we all must experience from time to time. When we fail to confess our sins privately to the Lord, there is a “piling up” of debris, blocking our communion with Him. Our relationship with Him is ever-present, but it can be hindered by the contamination of sin that soils our souls. We shouldn’t procrastinate and allow the sins in our heart to remain unconfessed. Isn’t it wonderful to know that we can go to the Lord, pleading like David did, “…wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow”?  (oops…there’s that “snow” word again!)

Love So Mighty

It’s February and it’s the season of L-O-V-E.

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching–as evidenced by the heightened push of candy and flower sales at the grocery stores….. School children are busy at work, creating personalized “Be Mine” heart-shaped crafts….. Romantics are dreamily planning a unique day or evening with their beloved……all in the name of L-O-V-E.valentine heart

Why is there such a big focus once-a-year on this spectacular “fuzzy feeling”? I’ve heard it said that it all started because of the retail business; it was a way to drum up sales on cupid cards and sweet treats. Once the adoring public seized ahold of the expectation to spoil their sweethearts for the day, there was no turning back!

There’s no doubt that “love is grand,” as the expression states. Our hearts yearn for acceptance and affection. When “love is in the air,” the contentment we experience is remarkable, alive with vitality and bliss. Yet, these emotions are so superficial compared to the all-encompassing L-O-V-E the Savior has for us.

The love that John speaks of in 1John 4:19 “We love him, because he first loved us,” is at the very core of what should motivate us when it comes to L-O-V-E. When we realize that the  sacrifice given for our souls, was done “in the name of love,” we are left breathless by its power and depth! Christ cared about me so deeply before I even knew He existed,! How awesome is that?  Until we can respond to the one who initiated L-O-V-E on our behalf, we will never fully know the capability we have to love others the same way.