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.