After school faculty meetings always made me laugh. Stickler teachers who demanded their students face forward and raise their hands before speaking were the very ones who, during a faculty meeting, would focus their attention on their nearest neighbor rather than the speaker. Some of us sporting death wishes mentioned the obvious discipline discrepancy to these dear teachers. However, most of us were content to just make humorous comments in our own heads.
It’s become more and more obvious over the years that none of us ever really grow up. We all, in some ways, are just fun-loving kids who’ve gotten taller. Like a bunch of kids in a classroom, our favorite question still remains, “But why?”
Sometimes, those whys are petty and self-centered ones, like:
- Why should my co-workers get paid more than me?
- Why can’t I have that husband, wife, car, or house?
- Why won’t my kids do what I say?
Sometimes, whys become philosophical:
- Why do bad things happen to good people?
- Why do loved ones get dreadful diseases?
- Why must we always have starving children somewhere in the world?
Then, at other times, our whys are directly aimed at God:
- Why don’t You hear me when I call?
- Why must Your children suffer?
- Why was I born with this ailment, addiction, temperament, or tendency?
Reading the Bible over and over allows us to start connecting all the dots between the Old Testament and the New; Paul’s writings from this city to that; Jesus’ life through the eyes of four different men; and the bobbing and weaving of the Holy Spirit throughout the entire book. That’s what I love most about the Bible! No matter how many times I read it, I stay amazed at the wild, interwoven things I uncover.
This week, the One Year Bible reading has been in Psalms and 2 Corinthians. As I read those familiar passages, I realized there were two words that answer all our whys. See if you can find them them here in 2 Corinthians 12:9. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
SO THAT! That’s why! After I thought about the power behind those two words for a few minutes I read Psalm 30, written by David for the dedication of the temple (palace): “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, SO THAT my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.”
I noticed I had penciled there in the margin on a previous trip through Psalm 56:13. So I turned there. “For you have delivered me from death and kept my feet from stumbling, SO THAT I may walk before God in the light of life.”
All that talk about light reminded me of 1 Peter 2:9 (one of my favorites): “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, SO THAT you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
The domino effect continued. Reading those words made me remember the blind man in John 9. Do you remember what Jesus said? When his disciples asked him whether he or his parents’ sin caused the man’s blindness, Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened SO THAT the works of God might be displayed in him.”
God allows what Satan meant for our harm to fine-tune us SO THAT the power of God can be displayed through our lives. The availability of that kind of power seems like foolishness to those who don’t believe. Those of us who possess that unexplainable power find what the world needs more of – courage! “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, SO THAT we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” (Colossians 1:28-29)
Connecting all the why dots in Scripture provides answers. We’ve been saved, we’ve been set free, and we are loved SO THAT, we can show others what the power of God can do. When we hurt, He comforts us. When we feel alone, He is there. When we doubt, He reassures us. Trusting Him with all our whys allows us to forever be God’s fun-loving children who’ve learned to ask “Why not?”