Here are some thoughts on the idea about when we ask God “why?”
And at that moment of His death, Jesus cried out in pain and anguish, “Why, God? Why have you abandoned me?” I think that each of the Twelve, including Judas Iscariot, asked the same question.
For Judas, this was not the ending he had anticipated and now he wondered what the consequences of his actions would be. And in his fear, he chose a path for which there were no options.
For the the remaining eleven and the other followers, theirs was also a cry of pain and anguish. They had been with Jesus for three years; they had been part of the ministry that was seemingly going to change the world. But now, Jesus was gone, buried in a tomb.
What hope was there for them? What was to prevent the authorities from coming after each of them? But we know that the pain and anguish that they felt on that first Good Friday and all during that first Black Saturday would be replaced by joy, exultation, and celebration on the First Easter Sunday.
And in the days to follow, with the joy and celebration of the victory over sin and death, they would be able to go out into the world to continue the ministry that began on the back roads of the Galilee.
But all of that is of little consolation to us when we cry out, “Why, God?” Often times, we do so because we have lost a friend and/or a loved one. And our cries turn from pain and anguish to anger because we have to wonder why God could let this even happen.
There are no easy words one can offer at times like these. There is no way to know how the world would have been if things had somehow been a little different.
Some see the Book of Revelation as the final act of an angry God but John the Seer writes it as God’s triumph. When we feel that God has deserted us, left us along side the road and forgotten over time, it is very hard to understand that He is right there with us.
One of the images that is used in the Old Testament is the refining of gold. The gold-containing ore is heated in an intense fire and melted with the dross (the scum) floating to the top where it can be poured off, leaving behind the purer gold.
It is not easy to think that something good will come out of our adversity, our pain, and our anguish or that some good comes from the loss of a loved one. It will never be easy to do that. But that is exactly what we must do.
Let us remember that a group of friends watched their teacher, their leader, their friend die one afternoon and they wondered what was going to happen to them. They had to wonder why this was allowed to happened. But three days later, with the miracle of the Resurrection, they knew why.
Our cries will be answered as long as we don’t turn away.