Chris Stapelton is my favorite artist right now. Hands down. He isn’t one of those where I fall in love with one song he has. He is an artist I can have on repeat for a long time and not have to skip over 25 songs just to get to my 2 favorite.
I have no idea where Chris Stapelton stands as far as his faith but I think the Christian community as a whole (myself included) could take some advice from these lyrics.
(On a side note country music sometimes gets a bad critique from Christians…but one thing is true about country music…they generally know they are sinners.)
We ( I used we because I do this) are so obsessed with having all the right answers in life. We want to answer questions that we will never be able to procure the answer to and I don’t think we are always suppose to for a lot of them. There may be a time we can look back and see the faithfulness of God in our lives, praise Jesus. But there are somethings that I believe we are not meant to have the answers for.
On news stands and in Christian bookstores there is a plethora of resources that try to give reasons for why our lives are where they are and how we can improve each part of ourselves. The papers and books try to give answers to all the problems of the world. We look to each of these things for answers. We are so obsessed with helping ourselves ‘get better’ we don’t see our neighbor. Or we are so obsessed with ‘helping’ our neighbor we disregard their hurt. We want an answer to every question before we will reach out and help our neighbor who is suffering. We want to know why they are suffering before we believe they are ‘worthy’ of our help. We want a one size pill that will fix everyone.
We ask why bad things happen to us or why bad things happen to the ‘good’ people around us. We ask Why A LOT.
The current Christian culture we live in (myself included) seems obsessed with deciphering the ‘will of God in their lives’ along with having the answers to so many why questions.. We want to know the ‘will of God in our lives’ and in the lives of those around us.
(confession) When I am in that spot of trying to ‘decipher God’s will for my life’ my heart sometimes/alot of times is not wanting to do the will of God. My heart is trying to not get hurt. I think that if I do A,B and then C I can avoid any plagues that may befall me. It does not come out of a desire to do the will of God. It comes out of a desire to avoid the uncomfortable. It’s a confession because it’s not something I am proud of or something good.
Along with wanting answers to what to do in the future we want to dissect our past to decide what was the good what was the bad and what was the sin that lead to the suffering. When we do that we forget about people like Job. There was no reason for his suffering. There was no sin that could be tied to him losing everything. We forget about the blind man that people asked Jesus ‘Who sinned him or his parents?’ and the lesson he taught at the moment.
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Se he went and washed and came back seeing.
Life is messy. Sometimes people go through struggles and it’s easy to see where they went wrong. Other times people go through struggles and there is nothing that can be pointed to.
When I discovered I was pregnant nine years ago, not married, after a one night stand at Oktoberfest I asked why A LOT. I understood the biology of HOW it happened. What I didn’t understand was WHY God would have allowed it. Why would God allow a child to come out of that? Why would God choose two people who do not know each other to raise a child together? Why? Why? Why?
The first year after my oldest was born was what people like to call a ‘difficult season’. Still to this day when he is going for the weekend or gone during his visits in the summer it’s difficult to not have him with us.
Hillary Scot communicates something powerful in her song ‘Thy Will’
“Sometimes I need to stop and remember that you are God and I am not so Thy will be done, Thy will be done, Thy will be done.”
I still do not have all the reasons why BUT I can tell of God’s faithfulness and work of redemption. God’s Faithfulness and His story’s of redemption are so beautiful. I might still try to give the why’s but that is not where my focus should be. Scripture is full of stories that baffle our reason but provide a narrative of the faithfulness of God.
God called Hosea to go marry a woman that mothers would not be excited for their sons to come home with. God did not call his prophet Hosea to find the woman who was as close to perfect as possible. Instead God told Hosea to go find a whore and marry her. When she ran away and went back to her old ways he told him to not only chase after her but BUY her back. She had landed herself in slavery and God told Hosea to go and buy her back. Hosea was not to go and buy her and use her as a salve. Hosea was to go and buy her and restore her as his WIFE. The reasons for why God put Hosea on this path can not all be plucked out and put on a nice neat list. What we get instead is a picture of the faithfulness of God. We get a beautiful picture of the unending love and faithfulness of God in spite of all of our unfaithfulness.
The people God choose to be in his genealogy are not people that would be able to give good reasons for why they were chosen. He chose people like Tamar and Judah. Judah was not providing for his daughter in law (Tamar) after after her husband (Judah’s son) died. Tamar then took matters into her own hands to survive. Tamar dressed as a prostitute. Judah noticed her and ‘used her services’. Judah found out Tamar was pregnant and Judah was outraged….until he learned that the child was his. The genealogy of Jesus is not filled with perfect marriages. The genealogy of Jesus is filled with his faithfulness in the middle of tough and messy life situations.
When I ask the WHY questions I leave out the I am forgetting about the WHY question Jesus uttered from the cross. As his final breaths were leaving his body he screamed out to his Father WHY? MY GOD MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?
It’s okay to ask why. Jesus asked why from the cross. If the answers never come we will still be okay. We will be okay because of His death and resurrection. We will be okay because he holds all the answers to every question we ask. We will be okay. We may not have the reasons why.
We may not know what will happen but we do know what did happen and because of that we will be okay.
Some reasons may not belong to us but to Jesus. What we do have is the unending faithfulness of a God who gave himself up on the cross and rose from the dead. Even without the answers we will be okay.