Tuesday, February 15, 2011


There are very few things more frustrating to me than having one of my children respond to my instructions by asking, "Why?" Perhaps it is because I spent twenty years in the Navy where I learned the saying, "It is not for me to reason why; it is for me but to do or die (trying)." Then again, it could have been my parents who made it clear that I was being disrespectful when I did so. When someone questions a person in authority, it is as though he needs to see the reasoning behind the decision before he will comply. In the Navy, questioning the reasonableness of an order was considered insubordination. The answer should be, "Because I said so!"

One thing even more frustrating to me was when I had told one of my children to do something, only to have my wife challenge my decision in front of the child. However, as I am growing older and am now reviewing my life, I realize those situations did not have to happen. The Bible does say that the husband is in authority over the wife and the children (Eph. 5:22; 6:1), but a wise husband will listen to the counsel of his wife before making an important decision (Prov. 31:26). I can recall times when the decision I made was wrong, and had I discussed it with her first, I could have avoided provoking my children (Eph. 6:4). Because I was so sure I knew what was best, and didn't need her advice, her only recourse was to question my instructions at the time they were given.

And as a child of God, I am guilty of the same thing; I have questioned my Father about His decisions. Why did He allow six million Jews to perish? Why does He allow abortion, the murder of children, to continue? Why are Christian missionaries martyred? Why do I have to go to someone whom I have offended, and also have to go to a person who has offended me? Why, if the Holy Spirit lives within me, doesn't He take over my whole life so that I will always be obedient and pleasing to Him? God knows I have asked for that hundreds of times! By asking these questions, am I not challenging His authority, His wisdom, His love? Lord, forgive me!

A man died and went to heaven. After touring the place, he was surprised to see some of those he was sure would spend eternity in hell. Then he was even more surprised when he began noticing the absence of some of his fellow church members whose deaths had preceded his. But the greatest shock came when he was ushered into the presence of God, with His Son seated at His right hand. As he looked into the eyes of Jesus, the only question racing through his mind was "Why am I here?" Perhaps that is the only time we will ever be justified in asking God why. However, I suspect we will know why. We know that God loves us (Jn. 3:16). We know that by graciously saving those who deserve to go to hell, He has shown mercy (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). And we will realize that by His limiting those who are permitted to dwell in His presence to those who have accepted His free offer of salvation, it is He that deserves all the glory and praise (Isa. 43:7). Don't ask why; just trust that everything He does, and that He requires, is motivated by His love! Amen!

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