It's Ok to Ask "Why?"
Steadfast Father, You are the holy and mighty One. You alone are worthy of honor and praise.
Read 2 KINGS 4:8-37
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Questions can expand our understanding, uncertainty can lead to trust, and honest faith can produce outrageous hope” (John Ortberg). These outcomes can happen if we hang tight with our Heavenly Father.
This new story contrasts with the widow earlier in the chapter. This woman is one of means and independent thought. She does not mention her childlessness as a problem and, with resources and opportunity, she delights in providing a spare room for Elisha’s occasional use (10). However, having been granted the great joy of a son, she experiences his being taken cruelly away from her.
Bringing the boy back to life is again a private miracle (32-35), but it echoes Elijah’s compassion in raising to life the Zarephath widow’s son (1 Kings 17:19-24). No doubt for Elisha it also served as confirmation that God was with him too. It reminds us of Jesus’ response to the pain of Jairus and his wife losing their daughter. He too sought to keep the miracle quiet, protecting the privacy of the family, but his healing powers could not but demonstrate God’s powerful presence among them (Luke 8:40-56).
This very human story touches us at many levels. Childlessness has burdened many would-be parents throughout the ages. Today when IVF and other procedures are possible for some couples, the raising of hopes, only to have them dashed, can mean successive repetitions of disappointment. This woman’s strong fear of losing this child shows she has in fact longed for a son, and her struggle with God taking away the child that he had given so miraculously is understandable. “Why?” is often a cry of faith, not doubt. God could do it, could prevent death, could give pregnancy, and could restore life. So why doesn’t he? Knowing this loving God allows us the privilege of asking him, even if in the long run we need to say with Job: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21).
Look for opportunities to provide a safe place for people to utter their cry of “Why?”–but always be ready to pray for a miracle!
Lord, sometimes the world’s view of life imprisons me and tries to bury me. God of hope, let me know You are with me, especially in the darkness.