I’m sorry this is so long… but it has a happy ending.
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This is a very hard thing to do when going through heavy-duty suffering, but if you can manage to do it, I believe you will reap a great reward.
I read in another blog, the importance of asking oneself the why question. I also believe it’s important to ask this why question – of one’s self. Also; I believe asking why can be necessary – during the time of great grieving – but later on, as no answers come, it only leads to more heart ache – with no place to put the ache.
But I’m not talking about that. This is about continuing to ask the why question – of God. Once, during a trying time, I accidentally asked God what I should do about these why questions I was never getting answers to.
I was told to stop asking the why question.
This is what I was told.
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There was a sheep herder who had to dunk his sheep in sheep-dip to rid them of parasites. The dip is terrible stuff – almost like tar – thick, black, with a stench that rivals a skunk – in heat! The sheep herder would love not to do this to his flock, but he knows that, for their very survival, it’s absolutely necessary that it be done. He picks one up and lowers it, as gently as possible, into the dip. All the way to the tip of its nose he dips it. The sheep is terrified thinking his keeper is trying to kill him in a terrible way. The sheep herder would like nothing more than to explain to his sheep why they must go through such a terrifying ordeal – but they are only sheep and he knows they have no ability to understand why this terrible thing must be done to them.
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The family dog is riding in the car with his master, knowing they are going out for a walk, when they stop at some rail road tracks to wait for a train to pass by. The dog has no idea why he must wait. His master could try to explain to him the why of it, but he knows his pet could never understand, no matter how it was explained. What is a train? Why must I wait?” You get the idea.
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Here’s another example of the importance of not asking why.
According to the people’s agenda Jesus was supposed come and conquer the Romans. But instead, he was crucified and killed in front of everyone. Could God tell his followers why? There was no way that question could have been explained in any way that they could understand. His plan was too vast; too complex. If He were to tell us… “He must die to save you and to send you the Holy Spirit” It would make no sense to us whatsoever.
“Why is that?”
“Why must Jesus die in order to save us?”
“Why must we get this Spirit?”
Even today, after the fact, we are still not really able to comprehend the why of it. However, His disciples were entirely able to understand what to do – and so He told them what they were to do.
“Go to a certain place and wait for the Spirit to come upon you”.
Thanks be to God, they did what they were told to do. They went to where they are told to go, and waited there. And they were blessed to receive the Holy Spirit because of this. God’s plan was fulfilled through them – and it blessed us all.
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Just like there are three words for love, there are two words for the same why question.
This “why” .…
“I don’t understand and I really want to know.”
And the “why” that says …
“I hate you, go drown in a lake!”
But even if the why comes from a truly open heart, neither of these questions will likely be answered because, most of the time, we could not understand the answer even if He told us.
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But what about the what question? “What must I do / think / say?”
That’s a different question altogether. God knows that what or how is within the realm of our understanding and, because He loves us dearly, He won’t hesitate for a moment to explain to us everything He knows we can understand.
Whenever I ask what, or how, as in;
“What should I do in this situation I’m dealing with?”
“How should I be thinking about this pain I’m in?”
“What should I say to [or think about] this person who’s hurting me?”
Because God loves us so much, in a split second, He will always give an answer to any what question we may ask of Him.
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Here’s an example of a what that happened in my life.
Jerry and I were hiking in Hawaii one perfect day. The sun was shining with that special Hawaiian glow. The hiking trail was surrounded by lush green, birds were calling to each other with jubilant enthusiasm, and there was a perfect little stream splashing away along side us. The experience couldn’t have been more heavenly.
But I wanted with all my heart – to be dead.
I knew by that time never to ask why so instead I asked what. I asked God;
“What must I do about this terrible state I’m in? I will to do anything to get out of it.”
Upon asking the what question, and being willing to do anything I was told to do. I was given an immediate answer as to what needed to be done.
God flashed a forgotten memory back to me. It was about something I thought I had long since resolved.
A month before our trip we let a girl stay at our house. She paid us back by stealing my only diamond ring. I thought I had forgiven her but apparently I was harboring an unconscious, hidden, but deeply brooding, resentment. I wasn’t even aware I had this resentment – but He knew. Just as the Bible says, He knows me better then I know myself.
Then I was reminded of a passage in the Bible [that book is magical]. It was about the king who forgave a man’s million dollar debt and the man being unwilling to forgive his friend’s debt of a nickel.
Then the Holy Spirit said to me;
“Robin, you are like the man who was forgiven the million dollar debt. All those hundreds of things you stole [I had been a kleptomaniac] I never allowed you to get caught. Your debt was entirely forgiven. Now go and forgive this girl’s small debt against you.”
Well I never let go of a resentment so quickly. God made it easy. By reminding me of what He’d said in His perfect word, and then telling me what I must do, He made it easy. In being reminded of how much I was forgiven for all the kleptomania, in turn, I was able to forgive her to the bone. I was able to easily let go of the resentment towards her completely. Then miraculously – the instant this complete to the bone forgiveness was given; the instant my resentment was totally released, the utter despair; the desire to commit suicide – disappeared! The joy of the hike returned… in all it’s blasting Technicolor.
Peace & All Feloreaw to our Great & Mighty God