Psalms DAY 6

DAY 6 - Why, God?

Psalm 10:1-6

We all ask “why?” It’s how we learn, but sometimes we ask “why” about things more emotionally explosive: Why am I sick? Why did he walk out on me? Why am I here? Sometimes we aim those questions at God: “Why, God?”

What do we do with our “Why, God?” questions? Psalm 10 suggests we pray our “whys.” This songwriter doesn’t tiptoe around his complaint: “Why, LORD, do you stand far off?” If you ever wondered if we can question God, there’s your answer. About 40% of the psalms are like this. We call them psalms of lament. Lament is an expression of sadness, regret, or grief. 

Christians sometimes give off the vibe that questions and lament scare us. This happens at funerals when people would rather paper over pain with clichés than let someone express real grief. Someone told me a few years ago they left a church because leaders told him to stop asking hard questions. Lament is also noticeably absent from many worship services, no matter the style of music. 

Look again at v.1. This “why” isn’t just a question, it’s an accusation: “God, you’re standing far away while I’m hurting! God, it looks like you run and hide when I need you most!” God feels distant so he assumes God must really be distant. That might be a dangerous assumption.

There’s something oddly comforting just knowing you’re not the only person asking “why.” In fact, it’s so commonly added, so commonly prayed, that it found it’s way into a prayer book that’s lasted millenia!

Are you generally more comfortable or uncomfortable by questions and doubts, especially the “why” questions?

Whether I find it easy or hard, help me, Lord, to be honest with my questions, doubts, sadness, and frustration. Help me to pray, “Why, God?” Amen.

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