Your Questions About Misfortune, Tragedy, And Trauma
Question 1: Why?
When misfortune and terrible things happen to you, you ask questions.
Many, if not all of these questions, are directed at God. In this series
of essays, we will explore the answers to the most difficult questions
about your life. These questions and the answers that go with them are
the questions you ask God in your darkest hours. These questions are the
questions you and others ask God about misfortune, tragedy, and trauma
in your life.
Why? Why is there misfortune, adversity, pain, suffering, and trauma
This question is the primary question of every age, every culture,
and of every person. The question is momentous in its importance for
The answers to "why" are knowable in a spectrum of wisdom
and understanding. At one end of this answer spectrum is total knowledge
and wisdom about why tragedy strikes while at the other end of the
spectrum is a total lack of knowledge and wisdom. In seeking why things
are as they are in misfortune and tragedy, you often find that for every
knowable answer there are often more questions with no answers at all.
In looking at adversity, it is common to find that the more you come to
know, the more you seem to not know.
Some things happen you call "acts of God", like the
weather, earthquakes, and volcanoes. These "acts of God" can
bring trauma and tragedy to hundreds of thousands. When you ask why
these disasters of nature take place, you look to God for answers. Often
you get no answer but assign an answer to Him and you say, "It was
God's will", but was it? Does God have power and province over the
earth or does Satan have province? Is there some kind of intermingling
of God's hand and Satan's power? Even here, in what you call the acts of
God, there is still the unknowable and mysterious. You can and often do
assign an answer to a question based upon what you believe about God.
You can come to know why some traumas and tragedies happen. In the
case of war you can look at the heart of men and see evil at work. Yet
even when you see evil at work you can and do ask why was one person
taken and one person left behind. In so many tragic circumstances, you
can see the work of satanic evil. When you see this kind of darkness you
ask "Where was God?" and "Why didn't God do something to
stop this evil"?
You must realize you may not be able to accept an answer from God,
for the answer may be beyond your ability to understand or cope with it.
The answer may be so devastating that God prevents you from knowing it.
In some cases, not receiving the answer to why traumas come may preserve
your faith because the causes of misfortune can be terrible and you
would be devastated by the knowledge of these causes.
If you find out why a terrible thing happens, what will you do with
the answer? Does God not tell you "why" because you cannot
understand or because you could not grasp the enormity of the answer?
Are the answers to your questions too big for you to handle? Does God
want you to live without an answer so you will grow and prosper from a
lack of knowing why?
Perhaps it is not proper to pound on Heaven's door in anger wanting
God to speak to you and give you an answer. Perhaps the best way to get
an answer from God about why things happen as they do is to just
prostrate yourself at the foot of the Cross and weep.
In many lives, persons make the wounds of trauma worse by demanding
the reasons why. So often, it is best to begin the healing process by
grieving and investing your grief in Christ instead of demanding
answers. There are some answers that God will give you to some of your
questions but even when you get the answers, you will remain wounded.
Your search for meaning and purpose in suffering can be so consuming you
are not able to heal. Conversely, searching for meaning and purpose in
the heart of God keeps you close to Him if you trust Him and if you
trust Him He will provide you with comfort if not the answers you seek.
God does understand your pleas for help and your questions. In so
many circumstances, God will not reveal an answer, not because He wants
to torment you, but because He wants you to come to Him. Imagine what
would happen if you got quick and easy answers from God. You would, in
this instance, most likely minimize Him. God can be a source of
inspiration and love beyond measure but He must not be treated as if He
is some kind of computerized answer machine.
God's comfort and love in your life is more important and can do more
work in you than the result of answers to questions you have about
tragedy and trauma. The presence of Christ within the person doubled
over in grief is more important than the circumstances that brought the
grief. With God, there are always priorities of importance. Yes, you are
told by Jesus to ask, seek, and knock, but Jesus wants you to engage in
these pursuits as expressions of your love for Him, not because He wants
to be treated as an uncaring answer source.
In asking "why" you must realize that if God wants you to
know "why" He can and will reveal this answer to you. If God
does not give you an answer, you must deal with it. You must deal with
the fact that God does not want you to know "why". In some
cases, you will never know why a thing happens because God does not want
you to know. What you must remember is that even if you do not get the
answer you want or need, or if you get no answer at all, you are still
in God's hand.
Even when you are left without a clue as to why your life has been
torn asunder, Christ still pours His love into you. Remember that Christ
wants you to be with Him in paradise when your walk through life is
over. Please know that you walk through life with pain and suffering and
there may be no answers to these questions. In growing up in your
Christian faith, you must learn to be content with no answer at all. You
must learn to deal with unanswered questions and keep moving forward in
your life. Christ calls upon you to trust Him. When you ask some
questions it does signify that at a certain point in your life, in this
trauma and tragedy, you have lost some of your trust in Him. Losing
faith when you are severely tested is normal. When you are tested you
must fight back and must trust God wholeheartedly in every circumstance
no matter how terrible the circumstance may be.
You must not leave out the satanic darkness from this desire to know
why a thing happens. Satan and his minions also want to keep you from
knowing why a thing happens. It is the purpose of the darkness and the
evil mind of Satan to destroy your faith. By keeping answers from you,
Satan can cause you to shake your fist at God, blaming God for tragedy,
and at the same time getting you to blame God for no answers.
You must learn to accept pain as a reality for which you may never
know "why". You must learn to accept that some parts of life
really stink and that to deal with these parts of life requires your
moving on with life without ever knowing the "why". There is a
certain freedom to not demanding answers. There is a certain freedom to
being able to move forward in the tragedy and trauma put upon you. You
must remember that the power and strength of God is bestowed upon you
not by your getting an answer but by your trusting in God enough to
leave the answering process totally in His hands. The reality of life is
that you may never know "why" but you do know "who".
You can know without a doubt who loves you and cares for you, it is
Christ Jesus your Lord and Savior. You can know who died for you, it is
Christ Jesus your Lord and Savior. You can know who lives within you
every second, regardless of life's circumstances, it is Christ Jesus
your Lord and Savior. In Christ, you must put your whole heart, even
your heart that has questions and doubts in the middle of your darkest
John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may
have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have
overcome the world." (NIV)