Isaac’s wife, Rebekkah, felt the twins wrestling within her womb. She was to become the mother of two nations (Gen. 25:22) “The babies jostled each other within her, and she asked, “Why is this happening to me? So, she went to inquire of the Lord.” Have you ever asked that question? Do you go to God for answers?
Before we look at the possible reasons we may be experiencing difficulties in our lives let’s answer another question. What does it look like when you are traveling through a dark valley or when you are being battered by a ruthless storm?
1. A man’s wife comes home from work, just like she does everyday only on this day she tells her husband that she is leaving him and running off with another man she has fallen in love with. Her husband is asking “Why is this happening to me?”
2. A teen-aged son is arrested for smoking and selling pot at school. He is charged with a felony and expelled from school. This family finds itself in a deep, dark valley
3. A husband/father has learned that he has terminal cancer and he only has months to live. He will leave behind a wife and several children. This man is asking, “Why is this happening to me?”
4. A young daughter tells her parents that she is pregnant and she is running away with her boyfriend, the father of her child. This family is living in a storm.
5. A young couple loses a child to a miscarriage. Several years later they have another child that is plagued with birth defects. Are they not going to ask, “Why is this happening to us?”
6. A young college student decides to tell the family around the dinner table that he is homosexual. A wife/mother struggles with alcoholism. A husband/father can’t shake a gambling and pornography habit. What should these families do when they are tossed about in the storms of life?
“Why is this happening to me?” may be a question far more common than we realize. Let’s explore some possible answers:
1. We may be in the storm because of our own flesh. The ‘flesh’ is that sinful part of us that wants to believe that we don’t need God so we leave him out of the equation. When we are more intent on satisfying our own fleshly desires rather than pleasing and obeying the Savior we are going to go into the valley.
This is double-mindedness. (James 1:1) “Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
You stay out of the valley by being single-minded. Put God first in every situation of life.
We are often like Peter on the water. We begin to sink into the valley of despair when we take our eyes off Jesus. The waves of anger and bitterness overwhelm us. We find ourselves sinking into the deep, black waters of hopelessness and fear and anxiety. These are all fleshly responses to the dangers we are confronted with when we experience the stormy seasons of life.
Jesus told a parable about the seed falling into shallow soil. (Mark 4:6) “When the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.”
Find time to build spiritual depth in your life. Not after the storm arrives but before the storm arrives. Be prepared for the storm by deepening your relationship through prayer and living in the word of God.
2.) We may be in the storm because we are out of the Word of God.
We often fail to read God’s word, not because we don’t have time, but because we are stubborn. Especially those of us who are men, we don’t think we need to refer to the owner’s manual. We like to figure it out on our own. We don’t need instructions. Reaching for your Bible is admitting, “I need help.” It is an act of humility. “I can’t figure this out on my own.”
My wife reminds me often of how important it is to have alone time. Spouses need time alone with each other. They need time to get to know each other, time to catch up on what might be going on in each other’s life. This time is crucial for the relationship.
Does God not occasionally lead us into the storm because he senses the need for some ‘alone’ time. Our God is relational. The storm brings an intimacy with God uncommon for some. He teaches us things in the storm that we will not learn when “the warm south wind” is blowing.
3. We are in the storm always, always to bring glory to God.
Those crisis moments in life help us to define what is really important.
After I struck a deer on my motorcycle and lay in the hospital with a broken collar bone, two broken ribs and a punctured lung…I suddenly didn’t care about the lawn getting mowed, or the car getting vacuumed. I cared about staying around to be a husband to my wife and a father to my child and a grandfather to my grandchildren. I rearranged my priorities.
Paul and his fellows began to throw the cargo of grain off the ship in order to be saved. That cargo had great value. It was worth thousands of dollars but in the moment of crisis it had no value at all to them.
When you are trying to find your way through the storm please realize that the most important thing is your relationship with God. He wants you to use that crisis to demonstrate your faith in him. You can glorify God by putting him first in your life and demonstrating to others that you have your spiritual priorities together.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were cast into the fiery furnace. They wouldn’t bow, they wouldn’t bend and they wouldn’t burn. In the midst of their trial they revealed the Son of Man right there in the midst of the fire with them. God allows storms to come into our lives to provide us opportunities to reveal Christ at work during our most difficult moments.
4. God is always enough.
My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device or creed;
I trust the ever living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.
Christ is always enough. We often find ourselves running to other people rather than to God and this is a demonstration of our lack of faith. He never fails. He never runs out of patience. The fountain of his wisdom never runs dry. His strength abounds forever.
We live in a culture where millions are turning to drugs and doctors, health guru’s and self-help books and amateur counselors. All of these things may have their place but we must first consult One who knows us best.
Maybe we don’t turn to him because we don’t know Him. Do you really know the Savior today?
I have taught many students in my 30 years as an educator. Many have fathers but they lack confidence in their fathers love them for them. Some of their fathers are absent, some are negligent, and some are abusive.
How many Christians doubt their Father’s love for them? If you don’t spend time in his word you will start doubting his love. If you claim a relationship that you have never experienced you will doubt his love. To be confident of his love you have to know him. He brings rest and confidence to our souls when we spend time with Him.
I took my son for a walk one night after dark. We walked to a cemetery not far from our home. I confess our adventure was more about testing his courage than actually spending time with him. As we got closer to the cemetery the dogs and coyotes began to howl and bark. I spoke to my son, “Kameron, are you scared?” He looked at me incredulously and said, “Why no, Dad. Are you?” I wasn’t too sure how to answer him.
I know my son well. Had he been on that old gravel road alone on that moonlit night approaching that cemetery he would have been very fearful. He wasn’t scared because of the faith he had in his father. He knew I loved him and I would defend him with my very life.
Don’t walk through the valley alone. Don’t endure the storm by yourself.
In those moments of crisis, God is all you need. Your Father loves you. He will take care of you. He will walk with you through the storm.
Deut. 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Kevin Probst - Teaches Bible and Apologetics at Lafayette Christian Academy in LaGrange, Georgia.