Most people who ask the question—whether in distress or out of simple puzzlement—don’t really want an answer. They turn their attention to something else as you open your mouth to answer.
WHAT THEY ARE DOING INSTEAD OF REALLY ASKING A LEGITIMATE QUESTION IN SEARCH OF AN ANSWER IS COMPLAINING. AND THAT’S NOT GOOD!
Have you ever stopped such a person in the middle of his next comment or question to say, “Did you really want to know the answer to your question?” Try it sometime. It’s not impolite—just startling to him. People have gotten so used to others with no answers that they don’t expect them.
The answer you give may be something like this: “You asked why? I’d like to tell you.”
If your startled companion encourages you—even slightly—“Uh . . .yeah, sure,” then tell him something like this:
“What happened, about which you were wondering “why” was an act of God’s providence. You know He’s actively at work in this world. And what He does for His children is always for their good (quote Romans 8:28). Even though we don’t know what He’s up to in the problem, nevertheless, we can be sure of several things since you are a Christian:
- God is in the problem
- God is up to something in the problem
- God is up to something good.
- You may or may not find out what that is soon, later, or in the life to come.
- But, since you asked, that’s “why” it happened.
- Now, you can look for some good to come from the outset. But you must look!
- If you do, you may discover that this is the beginning of something exciting.
Sure hope so. And I certainly hope you don’t miss out on it.
Now, of course, you may want to say it your own way—eliminate the list (as such), or leave out a line or so. But one thing must be certain—you need to make it clear that GOD IS INVOLVED IN WHAT IS HAPPENING, BRINGING ABOUT GOOD IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, IN HIS TIME.
Give it a try and see what happens—it may open up a conversation that will be a blessing for both of you. But if you say the wrong things, in the wrong ways to the wrong person—well, don’t blame me!