Why?

Here ends another day, during which I have had eyes, ears, hands and the great world around me. Tomorrow begins another day. Why am I allowed two?  ~ G.K. Chesterton

I’m content to live without an overarching WHY. It isn’t a virtue or a fault. I may simply be missing the why gene. I’ve had an interesting life so far. It hasn’t been tragic, but it hasn’t been all tea and toast, either.

Many that I know and love dwell in the realm of WHY. It’s a very difficult place to live. Why this, why now, why me?

Why? For some reason this question always makes me think of Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which is pretty funny, since there’s rarely anything that makes me think of physics.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.            ~ Sir Issac Newton

For every negative why: why pain, loss, grief, suffering… isn’t there, then, an equal but opposite positive why: why health, blessing, comfort, joy?

There’s a saying in some circles: Don’t ask God why me? Ask why not me? This is more clever than comforting to me. It paints a picture of a small god that’s too narrowly defined by my questions and punitive by implication.

I vote for Chesterton’s why, which is really an expression of gratitude, the complete opposite of asking God to give an account.

Tomorrow begins another day. Why am I allowed two?

That’s the why of wonderment and grace. It’s a very good place to dwell.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

34 thoughts on “Why?”

  1. Reblogged this on Stevesaw's Blog and commented:
    Do you often wonder why something bad happens to you or other folks? Why? This is a great post that addresses the question, “Why?”

  2. Gracious one, I had heard of asking why not me. I just hadn’t thought about how it really came across and how it made God look. Thank you for showing me a more grace filled way of experiencing all that He does and is. 🙂 God bless you as you dwell in His grace today! love and prayers – the other deb

    1. Dearest Deb –
      I’ve decided this topic, while not especially fun, may require another post.
      Thank you for tracking with me.
      I know it can be a challenge! 😉
      love and prayers (shared with Aub),
      ~ Debbie

  3. I love this post. I have never been much of a WHY person either (when it comes to faith anyway. I am a HUGE Why person about everything else.)

    I am grateful that Faith is just what it is for me. I am grateful to have had a father who had the motto “stuff happens move on” (He did not say stuff…) It boils down to the same thing really.

    ‘wonderment and grace”

    I am gonna spill some of that on my son in a few minutes when we are cuddling on the couch. I will begin “a very Wise and Good Woman taught me today…..”

    Thank you.

    Love Jen

    1. Jen,
      The answer to why is based on the precepts of faith (I think), not the amount of it.
      You and I are very fortunate. I know people of great faith with huge why questions.
      For me (sorry to be redundant here) believing that God is good and loves me and is always right leaves the vast UNKNOWABLE OK with me.
      Your son is a blessed young man to have a mom so wise and tender,
      ~ Debbie

  4. Hi Debbie–this is wonderful, as always–I could just feel the grace roll over me the way a cloud feels on a too hot day, that brief respite that makes you really appreciate clouds. I think I’ve definitely moved into the space you describe–so blessed that I keep asking God, “really? I get this, too? How come, Lord?” I’m really good at spinning around in my head, trying to figure things out–which isn’t bad as a momentary diversion–but you’re so right, it’s not a good place to live. “Thank you” is more peaceful than “why?” And so full of grace!! God bless you abundantly today, and always. love, Sis Caddo S.G.

    1. Hello Caddo!
      “I could just feel grace roll over me the way a cloud feels on a too hot day, that brief respite that makes you really appreciate clouds.” What a lovely word picture – especially for a woman at my age and stage living in Texas! I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, and I’m starting to really like them! 😉
      Thank you works better for me than why not me. And OK, works better than why. But that’s just me.
      May we both find joy in the linings,
      ~ Debbie

  5. This is so true Deb! My whys have just led me around in circles. Instead of asking why I am trying (albeit some days unsuccessfully) to see what good has boiled to the surface of my life through the turbulent waters.

    1. Pastor J –
      Your comment reminds me of an interview I read a while back.
      A farmer awoke one morning to find elaborate crop circles in a portion of his field. His response was:
      “I have absolutely no idea how they get there. I just like to enjoy them for the wonders that they are.”
      Sometimes we simply have to say, I have absolutely no idea.
      ~ Debbie

  6. Love this about the equal and opposite reaction. It’s always been my motto, but you shed a new light on it for me. I think, and I can only speak for me, some of us who are just a teensy-bit of a control freak ;-), ask why because we don’t know how to let go and let God. That’s been my problem too many times than I can count. It’s posts like yours that remind me. So, thanks.

  7. Yes, I also prefer Chesterton’s why. Like you, the answers of some “why not me?” have left me unsettled and wrong headed. The more I consider gratitude the more I understand its key to my peace and joy. It’s my path to growth in faith in Christ.

    1. Debby –
      It’s just a subtle thing, isn’t it? Why not ask why not me?
      It seems so much more ‘spiritual’ on the surface. I don’t think it’s wrong, but I have to question what kind of picture I’m painting with those words…
      ‘Gratitude is the key to peace and joy and growth’. Yes, my friend. Very true.
      ~ Debbie

  8. Jeez… I’m thinking, only 2? 🙂

    Why never seems to bring any satisfactory answers, and tends to be a very subjective question and answer period when dealing with our personal problems. I never get the same answer twice. It’s crazy-making! Another great post xxoo m

    1. melis – Only YOU would find the humor in that quote! 😀
      Part of the problem with the question is, as you point out, everyone has an answer, and rarely are any two a like!
      Thanks for adding your own special wit and light to a rather heavy post!
      ~ Debbie

  9. I concluded years ago that the “why” question only took me down a dead end road. Even if I knew the whys, would anything be different? Rather, how do I live given what I’ve been given ~ challenges and blessings! How do I be the person I’m meant to be amidst the sorrows and celebrations visited on every life? That brought me more peace and joy. When I changed the question, life became more hopeful. I was able to choose how to move forward. I was open to learning and growth. I moved past the “stuckness” of the whys!

    A very thought provoking post. Thank you.!

    1. Cecelia –
      ‘Even if I knew the “whys”, would anything be different’ — I like that very much. If I’m not keen on what’s happening, would knowing why cause peaceful acceptance or more resistance on my part (surely there’s a better way etc…)?
      I think you’ve found a much more productive question. “Why?” doesn’t only leave us stuck, it often sucks at our shoes like quicksand.
      Thank you for sharing your insights.
      ~ Debbie

  10. I can’t help but ask the question: Why am I having such vivid dreams of my past: shaky childhood, desperate early adult years, and guilty post-divorce years, when I am so blessed now with a wonderful husband and strong faith?
    Why am I having a history of 18 years worth of recurring dreams about leaving husband number one (who was so anti-christ) when I am so happy in my husband number two (who is so with-christ)? Why am I being plagued with dreams that test my belief in the One who has brought me through my wilderness and planted me on His firm ground? Why? Please explain THAT to me!

      1. Heidi – Great link to Sherrie’s post! Thank you!

        “The work required to change

        from an attitude of longing to one of satisfaction

        is as real as all the work needed thus far.”

        I don’t think we often think of the work of contentment. We just expect it to fill and spill!

        ~ Debbie

    1. Lisa –
      I don’t have the answer, which is part of the point, I suppose.
      I’m going to take another run at this, if you’ll bare with me.
      ~ Debbie

  11. Thank you, Debbie

    “For every negative why: why pain, loss, grief, suffering… isn’t there, then, an equal but opposite positive why: why health, blessing, comfort, joy?”

    God bless you for sharing as you did this morning. Between you and Jim at http://blesseddad.wordpress.com, I am learning to speak through the pain. I am learning to share my story to the glory of His name.
    Yes, the pain is real but so is His grace, truth and mercy! Thank you for helping with matching the pieces this morning 🙂

    He is much bigger and stronger than anything I can think of or imagine. I am grateful that He gives the grace to to take it one day at a time.

    Today is going to be a good day!

    Blessings to you and yours over and over again.

    Thankful,
    ann

    1. Ann –
      Thank you for knowing my heart here and understanding that I’m not minimizing pain and suffering. Yes, it is SO real.
      I hope that this is, and will always be, a safe place to share pain – physical and emotional.
      There’s no place for a stiff-upper-lip in coming along side each other.
      God bless you, dear Ann, as you speak grace filled words through your pain.
      ~ Debbie

      1. Dear Ann –
        You are, and will continue to be, in my prayers.
        I read your words at so many sites and wonder at your grace.
        love and comfort to you,
        ~ Debbie

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