Life is full of unanswered questions. These questions are exaggerated when we have suffered a major loss, especially when the loss is sudden or unexpected. When I lost my 19-year-old-daughter, Shannon, to suicide in 1991, my mind was full of questions: Why did she take her own life? What was so painful for her that death seemed better than life? Why didn’t I see this coming?
And my most difficult questions were directed to God: If you are so good, why did you allow this to happen? Why didn’t you let me know she was so depressed? You knew, God, before time began, that this was going to happen. Why her? Why us? Why me? Why did you give me this child only to take her away?
These and other questions ran through my mind over and over like a broken record. As I wandered through my grief journey over the weeks and months, I came to realize that life couldn’t offer any definite answers. Thankfully, I gradually came to a place in my healing where the “why” questions became less important and the focus became, “Where do I go from here?”
Do we demonstrate a lack of faith when we ask questions such as these? I don’t believe so. God understands our humanness. We want answers, want to figure things out, want to reach some level of understanding when difficult things happen to us. It is a natural human inclination to ask questions.
We may not, however, get the answers we seek. God has chosen to let us in on some of his secrets and to keep other things from us. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29). His ways are not ours and his thoughts are not ours (see Isaiah 55:8–9). There are reasons for what happens that we can’t understand because of our limitations. Our finite minds simply can’t understand the mind of God and his universe. We have to trust that he knows and that he has a plan for our lives. Through his Word and Holy Spirit, he has revealed to us what we need to know to follow, trust and obey him.
God understands your pain, what you are going through and the questions you may be asking. Take a few minutes to write out your questions, ask God for wisdom and trust him with the answers.