Written By: Tricia Underwood
“Mom, why do I have to go through this?”, my daughter asked me, while her face was covered in tears, but I had heard this question just as many times from my son as well over the last two years.
I had run out of “textbook” answers.
To be honest, I had asked God the same thing myself.
Why did either of them have to suffer the things they’ve had to over the last couple of years? Why have I had to go through the pain that has left me a completely different person than I used to be just a short two years ago? Why did my husband have a form of cancer and now even though thankfully (oh, so thankfully) he is cancer-free, he still fights another chronic sickness in and of itself, that I would argue is equally as debilitating, called anxiety caused by stress and worry?
Why does this issue of sickness seem to affect every single one of the members of our household, including our fur-babies (our pets!)? As crazy as it sounds, even our pets have had some major health issues over the last two years, including our cat having to go on daily medication in order to live and our dog who is currently battling cancer at a young age.
It seems that our unwellness seems to cycle from being being badly sick, to being baseline unwell (our new “normal”)… always waiting for the next BIG thing to come along and take one of us down again. It’s like there is a stronghold over our family right now, despite a LOT of prayer and fasting.
So when my own children (twins, who are 12 years old) ask me WHY~ WHY are they in pain, WHY does our functional practitioner prescribe a certain diet that has taken away their previously favorite foods, WHY do they have to take so many supplements or drink herbal teas, WHY is it that despite all this they STILL have health problems~ WHY is it that I can’t give them an answer that I feel at peace with? It’s easy for me to want to find an answer by blaming things the research tells me may have caused all of our health issues, sure. Yet, somehow I feel their question deserves a much deeper answer. As if just knowing the scientific answers aren’t (and would never be) enough.
We may never be satisfied with the hard “why” questions in life, even if we are given the logical answers, without knowing the full reason of WHY God let us go through this season in our life to begin with.
A local pastor that I admire and respect, Pastor Steven Furtick, said this:
“What would happen if you stopped asking, ‘God, WHY am I going through this?’ and started asking, ‘God, WHAT are you preparing me for?’”
Wow~ do you see the difference in the two questions?! The first focuses on ME. Woe is me… I am suffering… WHY am I the one going through all this?!
The second question focuses on God and asks Him to provide the answer, as only He can, to WHAT is His PURPOSE behind what He is doing through this trial or hardship… what is He preparing you for?
Talk about game-changer!!
I am all about perspective changes in my life, and this was certainly one of them!! This was like a Peter walking on water towards Jesus moment for me.
When Peter took his eyes off Jesus and onto the storm, he began to sink~ like my family and I are feeling every.single.day. Each time a new “wave” of sickness or physical injury “attacks” us, to be honest, we haven’t been focusing on Jesus really. Sure, we pray and ask for His healing, but IN THE STORM, while the waves are crashing in on us, we are giving too much focus to the storm itself! We need to focus on Him and Him alone.
In doing that, I love how Pastor Furtick guides us to ask the Lord what He is preparing us for through these waves of hardship. I have never once asked the Lord to show me this, and I wonder what have I missed in the past two years because I have failed to do so.
One of the ways I’ve often answered my daughter as to the “why” she has had to endure what she has, is that perhaps God will use her to be a comfort to someone else who goes through a similar situation, perhaps even a child one day, since now she knows what it’s like to face this at such a young age.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT)
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
But again, I’ve focused more on the future than in asking God to show us what He would like for us to do NOW~ how He wants to use us NOW.
My husband and I have oftentimes thought of ourselves, and this season in our lives of sickness in our family, as the Job Season (Job as in the person in the Bible, as we are praying and trusting this is just a season). I’ve been clinging to this passage for hope~
Job 42:1-5 (ESV)
Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you
I’m so hopeful that in changing my perspective to, “Lord, please show each of us, make known to us, what you are preparing us for through these painful and hard times,” rather than a “WHY, God, why” prayer, that the Lord will begin to show Himself, His ways, and His plans for each of our lives to each one of us.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (AMP)
For our momentary, light distress [this passing trouble] is producing for us an eternal weight of glory [a fullness] beyond all measure [surpassing all comparisons, a transcendent splendour and an endless blessedness]!
Romans 8:18 (AMP)
For I consider [from the standpoint of faith] that the sufferings of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us!
Until Next Time,