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Quenching Why Questions and Beyond

By Marlene Houk

Burke CountyMarlene Houk Burke County


Years ago, my five-year-old asked questions relentlessly. He realized I couldn’t escape his questions while driving and peppered me constantly during errands. “Why do the big trucks drive slowly?” “Why do I need to take a bath?” “Why can’t I have another cookie?” Although answering constantly demanded my full attention, I nurtured his reasoning skills. Why questions involve deeper thinking on my part too as a mom because the answers hopefully redirected his thinking to God’s viewpoint. However, quenching his questions only opened the door to more!

Like my son, one of the first questions I ask when life descends into a pit is the “Why?” question. We, as humans, naturally ask why, beginning in childhood. We explore our emotions through the question and allow ourselves to think about life and God. During our journey through our troubles, knowing the answers to why questions offer valuable foundational insight. The sure and steady answers to my why questions from my Father assure me that He always responds to my questions.

For years I asked why and listened to the same desperate need for answers in my friends and family’s sorrow-filled conversations, I realized at least nine Scriptural reasons that answer the why questions we ask in our darkest times.

  1. Genesis 45:8 “So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”

Genesis 50:20 “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

What others mean for harm, God pivots to provide the greater good. Joseph’s brothers meant him harm when they tossed him into a pit and later sold him to Midianite traders. They were traitors to their brother and their God. We see clearly in Scripture, though, that God actually sent him to Egypt, not his brothers. The Lord needed Joseph to save His people, the growing nation of Israel, and Joseph would be the fulcrum to make it happen.

  1. Exodus 9:16 “And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.”

Others see God’s power shining through the cracks of our broken lives as we focus on Him and praise Him through the storm. They see our focus on the Lord and know that He can be their God too.

  1. Psalm 119:71 “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Being afflicted drives us to the Bible to search for answers and draws us closer to the Lord.”

  1. Matthew 5:45 “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh  sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

We can expect to experience good and bad along with unbelievers.

John 9:3 “Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”

God fits our problems into His plan to help us reveal Him to our friends and family. Why do we fall into the pits of life? Our trials reveal God at work, showing His love that desires a relationship with all who meet Him at the cross.

  1. 2 Corinthians 1:4 “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

We sail on life’s stormy seas, not knowing the size of the waves or the hail. But God always thinks beyond us; providing purpose for our pain and a plan that includes being with Him for all eternity.

  1. 2 Corinthians 1:9 “But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:”

One of the reasons we experience tragedy arises from living in a corrupted world. Its stench sometimes steals our joy.

  1. Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

As Christians, God allows life’s sorrows into our lives to work out His plan for us: enlarging our spiritual borders, providing opportunities for spiritual growth, training for service, polishing our spiritual gifts, changing a bigger picture, etc. Like the School of Hard Knocks, our trials graduate us with greater wisdom.

  1. Philippians 1:12 “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;”

We, as believers in Christ, focus on surrendering our sorrow and joys to God for Him to use for spreading the Gospel.

I’m thankful for God’s answers to my why questions, but knowing the answers fails to bring back my loved one or restore my wounded soul. However, knowing the following heal my heart and redirects my focus from within to heavenward.

  1. Hebrews 13:5 “for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Jesus – Like a child who seeks solace and security within his mother’s arms, Jesus holds us close to Him always. When we journey through the valleys of life, He lives in us and walks with us through our sadness and anger.

  1. Galatians 6:2 “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

Others – Jesus sends others to walk with us through our difficulties who encourage us with the warmth of goodness, practical advice, and their testimony of survival.

  1. John 14:26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

You – One of the gifts of salvation is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, reminding us of the pleasures of eternity with Jesus, teaching us about His purpose for our lives, and comforting us with His presence.

My sweet little boy found satisfaction in knowing the answers to his questions. But, like my son who grew to adulthood, quenching the question of why during our times of distress brought information but not illumination. We both needed the inspiration of the last three: Jesus, Others, You, to quench the whys of life, replacing our why questions with the precious promises of His Word.


Marlene is an author and teacher of Bible studies. She may be reached at

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Blue Ridge Christian News covers Avery County, Burke County, McDowell County, Mitchell County, Yancey County, and Madison County in North Carolina, and Christian news from around the country.