Five years after my husband and I got married we were pastoring a small but growing church in London. We were serving the Lord with all of our hearts and had given our lives to the ministry. We had one child: a bright, healthy little girl with a magnetic personality and a beautiful smile. Naomi means ‘our delight’ and that’s exactly what she was. So when she was tragically torn from us, our lives were shattered. One day she was running around a local shopping centre with my husband and the next day she was fighting a losing battle for her life. Naomi had contracted a bacterial infection which rapidly spread through her tiny frame and our sweetheart died less than 24 hours after reaching the hospital.
As I recovered from the shock, the question on my lips and ringing in my mind was, “why?” Why had God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and our faithful Healer, allowed our little girl to die? Never for one moment did I think that it was God’s will for her to pass prematurely. He is not the author of sin or sickness. His plans for us are always for good and not for evil, to give us a hope and a bright future (Jeremiah 29:11). And I knew then, as I do now, that my Lord is a miracle-working God who can heal every disease.
This question perturbed me and I found myself coming back to the same concerns again and again. I thought that if I could just find out why she died, what we had done to deserve it, then I would be able to start a journey of recovery. I don’t know what you have gone through, but perhaps your suffering has led you to ask questions. “Why would a loving God allow this to happen? What did I do wrong? Why me? Why us? Why him?”
I would watch other parents: those who chain-smoked with their children by their side; those who let their little ones play around dangerous staircases; those who shouted and cursed at their sons and daughters. And none of it made sense.
The untimely death of loved ones often causes people to ask why. Abuse can lead its victims to wonder what they did wrong. Divorce, separation, back-stabbing and betrayal make many desperate to find out why their parents, partners or peers turned their backs. Life often deals out difficult blows. When it does, we can be left reeling and wondering why.
Getting an answer
I sought God for an answer for several months because these questions were dominating my thoughts. In my quest, I came across the testimony of a lady who had also lost her daughter. Through her story and my own study, God spoke to me…
I learned that the word why – along with other questioning terms like who, what, when and where – is rooted in the Hebrew word for chaos. I realised that while I was seeking an answer, it would only lead to confusion and remorse. Then God started to show me that even if He were to tell me why, the explanation would never be sufficient. If Jesus came back to earth at that time and explained why Naomi had died, there is nothing that He could have said that would have been a good enough reason.
The turning point
I made a monumental decision. I decided to lay down the question of why. I decided to give up any right I felt I had to an explanation. I went to God and said, “I don’t know why Naomi had to die, but I don’t need to know anymore. I surrender my right to an answer and instead, Lord, I ask You to heal my heart.” That proved to be one of the most important decisions I took in the journey to restoration.
If you had asked me before Naomi died if I could recover if I lost her, I would have told you, “No, never. She is too precious.” Yet, after I gave up on why, when I laid down my right to answers and relinquished my need to know, God started to heal me and He did it completely.
It’s all too easy for the enemy to bind our pain to our chests if we demand an explanation. It keeps us looking backwards. When I chose a future instead of the past, God was able to make me whole.
If you have struggled with asking why, remember that while you hold onto that question, it will keep you confused and tormented. I don’t know what you have gone through or what you have suffered, but I guess that there wouldn’t be a good enough reason to explain the pain or disappointment you have experienced.
I encourage you to go to God in prayer and let it go. Set some time aside as soon as possible to bring your questions to God and tell Him that you choose to give up the right to know. Tell Him that you are leaving your questions behind you and putting your trust in Him instead. Giving up on “why’ sets you free to trust God once again and to believe Him for your healing and freedom.
Every blog I write deals with a different heart issue to help get you ready to fulfil your God-given destiny. If you would like to be free to be your best, get my new book 30 Day Detox for your Soul. You will be amazed at what God will do. It’s available in kindle and paperback via Amazon.
I’m so glad it touched your heart
Thank you for this testimony. I recalled you coming to talk to us in Harrow at fresh start formerly Cheers run by Caroline. You toured me then and you have touched me again. God bless …you have given me food for thought. Especially as I am stuck in the why phase…Vee.
I’m glad God touched your heart through this. If you’re stuck, I really suggest you consider coming to Healed for Life in April. You can find details on my website: https://www.jonaughton.com/healed-for-life/ God bless you
Thank you Pastor Jo for sharing…God indeed is our healer. I needed to read this at this time….
I’m grateful to God that this helped you
This has blessed me so much.
Praise God, He is faithful
Thank you Jo
Straight home Jo. I wept as I read it.
I have many whys..? Brain surgery for my son and a husband who walked away.
All with me deeply in love with Jesus and serving God.
I’ve asked a million times, did I do something wrong? And why God.. Why? Haven’t ever surrendered the right to ask that question.
Thank you so much Jo. This is a true blessing to me xx
I thank God Jeanet. My book Lifting the Mask might help too. Much love xx
Awesome. I needed to read that.
I am glad it helped. Bless you
Amazing post – thank you so much I lost my 21 year old sister on my 32nd birthday in similar shock circumstances – I’m also 36 and single longing for husband / family. I can currently totally identify with the chaos why brings Im researching prayer and whether I’m doing it right – trying to understand the no and the not yet – trying to understand that God will give you the desires of your heart – even trying to understand the difference between letting go of dreams / giving up and of surrender / sacrifice. Excellent blog post thank you very much
I thank God that He touched your heart through this blog. I really recommend you get my book 30 Day Detox for your Soul – I believe it will really help you through these painful questions. I’ve prayed for you.
Thank you so much for praying I’ll definitely get the book too xxx
As a Pastor I am currently teaching about he power of “God is faithful, by whom you were called in to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Cor 1:9 ” = I came across a definition of Lord – the one with the right to decide over…
Your story is a strong example of living in the reality of that, thank you for sharing it.
Thank you. God truly does work all things together for good. Every blessing
Thanks so much Pastor Jo, and I hope you don’t mind me sharing an encounter I had that taught me never to ask ‘why’, following a bereavement. In 1999, my gentle aunt, who was a Pastor, died at the age of 47 or so. The evening I heard, I went to bed so angry with God asking ‘why’ taken her. In the middle of the night, I got up out of bed and went to look at the clock in the living room, which had never happened before, and then found myself picking myself up from the floor with a scraped back. I went straight back to bed wondering what had happened and then woke up in the morning, ate cereal and then went to A & E to check myself over.
They did a blood test for me and said my blood sugar was so low, as if I hadn’t eaten anything for 3 days, and that I’d simply passed out – for the first and last time in 49 years.
On the way back home, the Holy Spirit said “if I hadn’t woken you up from bed to go and check the time – you would have passed out and passed away in your sleep so, when I choose to take my child home to rest, don’t ask me why”. I’ve never asked God ‘why’ since then – no matter what happens.
Thank you for sharing. That’s wonderful to hear.
A friend just sent me this as she knew it would help me. I lost my daughter in august, she was born v sick and after 26 days she passed away. I truly truly believed God would heal.her. SO many prople were praying. When she died I was in shock that my beloved father had taken her away when I knew he had the power to heal her. I was devestated not only by the loss.of my precious girl but that my father had let me down so deeply. I am now trying to let go of my questions and accept that there is a reason but I will never know why. Bit by bit i hope to put back together my broken heart and my relationship with God.
Fiona, I’m so very sorry to hear about your daughter. It must still be so terribly raw. But day by day, week by week and month by month, it will lift. I think you would find one of my books helpful (either Lifting the Mask or 30 Day Detox for your Soul) when you feel ready to begin your healing journey. Also my husband has written a book on rising from the ashes of tragedy. You can look on my website: https://www.jonaughton.com. And many of my blogs will touch on healing issues, again you can sign up via my website. I’ve prayed for you for God to heal. X
Thank you pastor Jo for sharing your testimony it really brings comfort and joy that even all of us who go through such sad situations when we stop asking ourselves Why Why and Why and put it all to God he brings us peace and Joy.
God is faithful and is able to bring genuine restoration even in the most painful circumstances. God bless you. Please don sign up for my weekly blog if you haven’t yet via https://www.jonaughton.com
i lost my daughter in october,still hurting so much…a freind of mine sent me this link n im so glad she did because i now know what to do inorder to heal,thankyou so much
I am so sorry to hear you lost your precious daughter. I pray that God’s healing love will fill your heart. I do suggest you get my book 30 Day Detox for your Soul – it’s available via Amazon. It will help with your healing journey. I’m praying for you.
Every blessing, Jo