Asking Why?

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Asking “Why?”  —  5-31-014
My Mama had a tough childhood marked by poverty and even deprivation. It was the Great Depression, and many others were in the same situation. Later when she married and had babies, she was plagued with various illnesses, some quite serious. I have wondered if being denied proper nutrition as a growing child may have played a part in her having a weakened physical condition.

Due to the discovery of Penicillin, she was cured of chronic kidney infections not long after a near miss when the doctors almost removed a kidney. Her fever broke just in the nick of time and she recovered without the surgery. Along in that same time frame she had back surgery that freed her from a very serious spinal problem. Through her 30’s, she was in the pink of health and life was good. Then, at 39, she sustained very serious injuries in a car accident. I was 13 years old when this happened. Our lives, and our family were never the same.
Mama was hospitalized for months. One of her lungs collapsed, so back surgery was postponed until her lung recovered. Then other less serious surgeries, much physical therapy, and excruciating nerve pain in her feet and legs from the spinal injury.
Recovery was very slow. While the terrible burning nerve pain and spasms went away after about 3 years, prayers for her to be fully restored were not granted. She did get rid of the wheel chair and leg braces, but she was partially paralyzed the rest of her life. She could walk, but it was a slow and halting gait. But for her, the miracle was not healing, but that in time she found joy in life again, in spite of not being healed. And she still had her faith in God, even so. She dearly loved and enjoyed her grandchildren. My Mama trusted her Savior through a life of pain, dying at age 56 with cancer. 
I have often wondered why it is that some people, even good people, seem to have more than their share of sickness and/or heartache. Our pastor when Mama died told me not to ask ‘why’ because it was a question the Lord almost never answers. I took his advice and didn’t pound at heaven’s door demanding answers. I prayed asking Him to get me through the rest of my life without her. One person said God sees our lives as a feature film in living color, while we see it in black and white snap shots. That seems to be a fairly good description of it.
My children were 8 and 5 years old when we lost Mama. I was 32 and on my own to muddle through. I pledged myself to learn to have a faith like hers. A faith that is strong in the bad times as much as in the good. But still, I wondered why some of us have poor health always and others live healthy; why some die young and others live on to a ripe old age. There are many situations in life that cause me to pause and think “why is that happening?” I never did come to a conclusion concerning these “why?” situations. I had no word from God in these difficult matters—-until now.   
It’s about His sovereignty. It means He can do and not do whatever He wants, however He wants to. And whatever He decides is many times for reasons known only to Him. He is not obligated to explain anything to us. Sometimes He does explain, but it is most assuredly His decision to do so.
Here’s a quote that dropped that little truth into my heart just recently.
        Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his
        natural force abated” (Deut. 34:7). Whereas of Joshua, who lived ten years less than Moses,    
        (Josh. 24:29),  “waxed old” and was “stricken in age” (Josh. 23:1); yet certainly he was not
        inferior in spirituality, nor did he occupy a less eminent position in the Lord’s service than did
        his predecessor. So it is still: God preserves the faculties of some even unto old age, yet not
        so with others.   ~A. W. Pink  (1886-1952)
I have come to realize it takes a mighty faith to endure the tough times. My Mama has been gone for almost 38 years, but the truth she lived by and quoted many times is still with me:

Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.  Job 13:15
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
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