The Elusive Why

It’s not the “how” that most of the time troubles us, no, it is the “why” that often troubles and even, at times, torments us.
Some people, who are usually devoid of spiritual things, attempt to answer life’s difficulties by saying that the reason that bad things happen to good people can be explained by science; People get sick because of viruses and germs; People attack other people because they “lack impulse control,” or have suffered an abusive childhood; People are injured in traffic accidents because of the laws of physics.
Those answers only describe the “how”and do nothing for the “why.” Take for instance, a mother, who learns that she has inherited a rare disease and will probably die before her children are grown, she may fully understand “how” she came to be ill — it was hereditary — but she will still agonize over the more difficult question “Why?”
A fact—life is often unfair.
Different people have different explanations as to “why” life is unfair and no one reason seems soul-satisfying for all situations. The “why” in many cases seems as elusive as a fluttering butterfly that avoids the catcher’s net.
We are therefore faced with the question of “how” to deal with life’s unfairness most of the time without knowing the “why.”
A fact—there are some events in life that we have absolutely no steering wheel with which to guide those events and worse of all we can find no satisfying “why” for those events.
As children we learned that our behavior either brought correction or praise depending on our conduct and our parents’ judgement of our conduct. We came to realize that punishment, in some form, came when we performed badly and when we did perform badly we learned to expect punishment. Few, probably, were the times when we received punishment at our parents’ hand that we had no idea why we were being punished. We usually always knew the why. That’s the reason that life can be so perplexing—we sometimes seem to be punished and we can find no solid “why.” So, once again, we are left with only seeking a “how” in order to deal with the situation.
Most of the book of Job is a continual discourse on discovering the “why” of Job’s calamity. Job’s comforters plum the depths of reason and emotion in their quest to aid Job in discovering the “why”—all without any real success. Only the reader who stands without and beyond the times of Job are told the reason for Job’s distress—a view which neither Job nor his comforter’s can possibly see. Job, without finding the “why” was left with only the “how” in order to deal with his situation.
Could it be that sometimes when we struggle in vain to find a “why” amid the unfairness of life that somewhere beyond the vail “a reader” sees and fully understands the situation from a perspective we are not permitted to have—and we are left with only the “how” in this realm?
After all, it is vital to us as God’s children to be able to perform, in Christlikeness, the “how” in all situations regardless of whether we understand the “why” or not—our response to life’s situations is a better gauge of our walk with Him than our ability to “understand all mysteries.” Often we must forego the “why” and be busy about the “how.” And as the old song stated, “We will understand it better by and by……”