I would imagine that one of the very first words to roll off my tongue shortly after I learned how to talk must have been, “Why?” My mom could most certainly testify to this. My “whys” were most often met with the answer, “Because I said so”, and even still, I have never stopped asking it. I have been known to demand an explanation or reasoning behind nearly everything that has been required of me, excusing this abrasive part of my personality with the excuse that I just need to understand the “why” behind the “do”.
This is typically where God and I collide. God’s Word is filled with few, if any, suggestions. Rather, He commands us to lives of surrender, trust, faith, and obedience. Where we tend to get things confused is when we demand that God give us an explanation first before we will walk the road He has set before us. I can only imagine Him shaking His head and saying, “You’re asking the wrong question.”
I’ve rarely experienced God to be quick to answer my “whys.” Perhaps because He is God, and we are not and He will never owe us an explanation for anything that He does or allows. Never. What I have learned through the painful trials of life, though, is that God takes great delight when we begin to ask the right question:
“God, what do you want me to learn through this?”
“God, what are you trying to teach me?”
This came full circle for me again last night as I prayed with a table full of women in my Bible study. Instead of sharing prayer requests, we spent that time praying out loud for our own requests, individually lifting up our needs to God, and therefore sharing our requests with each other while in prayer. It’s an incredible way to “do prayer requests”. I highly recommend it! I digress. So, as I prayed, I was asking God to help my husband and I through some difficult decisions that we’re trying to make right now, and I found myself asking God to help us learn what it is that He’s trying to teach us through this. I was stunned! For years, I’ve struggled with honestly praying “what” instead of “why.” Now, here I was apparently having been transformed from the inside out in this regard.
I share this with you today to offer hope in saying, “This is possible!” You and I both are capable of coming to the place in our faith where we surrender our “whys” to God and in faith begin to ask “what” instead. Because when we learn to ask “what”, we’ve begun to pray in sync with the heartbeat of Jesus Christ: “Not my will, but your will be done.” And I don’t know about you, but I want to pray like Jesus did.