"When a church and when a people group like this goes through a tragedy that you have experienced it is just human nature to cry out, 'Why?' Is that wrong? I don't think so, just as long as you are willing to accept the fact that there is not one simple answer to your question. The truth is that there could be a million different answers because God uses and event like this and He works in an infinite number of ways in countless numbers of lives."
For Christians we ask our own form of the why question. Often we have become so comfortable in our own walk with God that when trials do come we become shaken almost to the very core of our belief. The question we often ask is, "Why do bad things happen to God's people?" I cannot stand in the shoes of God and give a complete answer to that question. I don’t have God’s mind. I don’t see with God’s eyes. I Corinthians 13:12 says, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known." So when a big trial came to my front door on July 27, 2013 and I wanted to know why God would allow a bus accident to take the lives of my family members I didn't have the full answer. I couldn't understand with my finite perspective what God was doing. But someday I will. Someday I will see with clarity, but for now things are foggy.
My grandfather, Charles Richard Phelps Sr., has walked with God for many years now. Through his life God has seen fit to put him through some deep valleys and each time grandpa has come out walking even closer with God than he did before. On January 16, 1954 Grandpa lost his first wife, Blanch. Grandpa wrote this as he reflected on the week of the funeral:
"My heart was filled with sorrow but I'm sure that within that one week, through my encounters with the Lord, I had advanced more in my spiritual life than in the previous years of my Christian experience. Questions would come to my mind but oh, the joy, of sweet surrender!"
Grandpa Phelps penned this poem which he entitled "Why, Lord?" as he reflected on the trial of losing his first wife. I trust that it will be a blessing to you today.
Lord, why do you chasten those who are yours;
Why is your rod not spared?
Why do you put some through trials so hard
That others have never yet shared?
Why are certain ones marked for such things
As grief and sorrow and loss,
While some have never as yet known much
Of bearing the load of the cross?
It is not mine to question, O Lord, the ways
You sovereignly rule from above.
Instead I'll accept your appointment for me
As something you've sent through your love.
May I, at this time of heartache and pain,
Draw help from the strength you give;
And may others see Jesus, as they see me,
Through the life you give me to live.
By Charles Richard Phelps Sr., Grandfather to Chad