Addressing Those Difficult Questions We Struggle With in Life
By Ed Delph
April 22, 2019
Today, let’s muse on answering those difficult ‘Why’ questions we have from time to time. Here’s a stellar example of someone struggling at sixty-six years old to answer her deep questions. A friend sent this to me.
“I am sixty-six years old and I have so many unanswered questions in my life. I still haven't found out who let the dogs out. Remember where's the beef? Well, where is it? I still haven’t found out how to get to Sesame Street. Why didn’t Dorie use Google Maps to find her way home? Why do all flavors of fruit loops taste the same? Why are eggs packaged in a flimsy paper carton while batteries are secured in plastic that’s tough as nails?
"Consider this, why is ‘abbreviated’ such a long word? Why is there a ‘d’ in 'fridge,' but not in refrigerator? That’s perplexed me for years. Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavoring, yet dish-washing liquid is made with real lemons? Why do they sterilize the needle before lethal injections? Why do you have to "put your two cents in" but it's only a "penny for your thoughts?" Where did that extra penny go?
"But wait, there’s more! Why did the chicken cross the road? Speaking of chickens, which came first, the chicken or the egg? That has kept me up for nights on end. And just what is Victoria’s Secret? I want to know. And why does The Alphabet Song and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star have the same tune? And why did you just try to sing those two previous songs? Gotcha!
"Do you really think I am this witty? Let me tell you a secret. I received these thoughts from a friend who stole it from her brother's girlfriend's uncle's cousin's baby doctor who lived next door to an old classmate's mailman. Take it from me. Keep it going and put a smile on someone’s face. And for goodness sakes, don’t sweat the small stuff. Save your energy for the bigger stuff.”
Did you know there is a Psalm in the Bible with wisdom on trying to make sense of things there seems to be no answers for? Psalm 131 was written by David to God for Israel in those questioning times.
“O Lord, my heart is not proud, or my eyes haughty; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. Surely, I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. God’s people, hope in the Lord, from this time forth and forevermore.”
That’s great advice. Hope now and hope always because hope floats us in deflating times. Hope is the expectation of future good that brings with it, future understanding.
There will be times in life when nothing makes sense. Why did this happen to me? Why did a loved one die way too early? Why are there all the problems in the world? Why…Why…Why? I have a feeling we will be asking ‘why’ questions way after we are sixty-six years old, don’t you?
Do you see what David did here? After you have tried to make sense of it and it doesn’t make sense no matter what you do, leave it alone. It’s a God thing. Don’t judge God and everyone else. Right now, what has happened is just beyond your earthly understanding. Don’t get proud and try and play God. Don’t get frustrated, get quiet like that weaned child. Lean into God. Don’t run from God. Run to God. Be humble enough to understand, you don’t have to understand right now. In some cases, there may never be an answer so let it be.
Here’s your takeaway.
Do you have an unanswered question in life? No. Then don’t worry.
Do you have an unanswered question in life? Yes. Can you do something about it? Yes. Then don’t worry.
Do you have an unanswered question in life? Yes. Can you do something about it? No. Then don’t worry.
Any more questions?
Ed Delph April 22, 2019 CCC
Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com