Surrendering Our “Why” Questions

by Lysa TerKeurst March 16, 2023
“‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” John 9:3 (NIV)

Have you ever found yourself asking God: Why would You allow this to happen?

I certainly have.

For the last couple of years of my life, I’ve had to face one hardship after another. At many points I’ve wondered how I would make it through. It’s hard to feel confident in the goodness of God when circumstances don’t feel good at all.

We’re often left thinking that if we could just figure out the “why,” then life would make more sense. Especially in the face of pain or suffering.

This is where we find the disciples in the ninth chapter of the book of John — holding out the question of why. Jesus and His disciples had come across a man who’d been blind from birth. It was an encounter that left the disciples asking Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2, NIV).

The disciples were looking for someone to blame for this unfortunate situation. If they could only figure out the reason why, then this man’s hurt would be more tolerable, they reasoned.

Being blind in Jesus’ time was often interpreted as a statement about the sin in one’s life. So people who were blind probably didn’t have a whole lot of help from others. Others assumed they were sinners whom God was punishing. But Jesus turned this thinking on its head when He declared the words of our key verse to His disciples:

“‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him’” (John 9:3).

The reason this man was blind was so others could see the amazing power of God. Jesus’ healing of his physical blindness would lead others to spiritual sight. (John 9:6-8) It would shine a light on the One who declared He had come to be the Light of the world.

Sadly, not all who witnessed this man’s healing were open to Jesus’ Truth. In fact, it stirred up a whole mess with the Pharisees — a group of men whose lives prove we don’t have to be physically blind to see only darkness. (John 9:13-41)

The Pharisees knew all about the prophesied Messiah. But when Jesus came on the scene, they couldn’t see He was the One. They knew all the right answers but didn’t make the right choice.

Oh, how this makes my heart pause. What do I want most? What do I need most? Answers … or Jesus?

As much as I want answers for those things that break my heart, what I want and need more is spiritual sight. I want to approach a situation that might look hopeless and see the spiritual potential. I want to read the Bible and see clearly what God wants to say. I want to know how to react to situations in a way that honors Christ.

I’m guessing these are things you want too. So how do we get this kind of spiritual sight?

We ask God for it. And sometimes that means surrendering our “whys” and instead choosing to ask, Will You help me see You, Lord? Even in this? He is the One who can illuminate the dark places for us. His presence alone has the power to bring us peace in the midst of our unanswered questions.

Today, let’s be careful not to get stuck in our “whys.” Let’s not allow them to leave us blind to His presence, blind to His goodness, blind to His power, blind to the hope we have in Him. Let’s not be like the Pharisees — people who could physically see but were blind to the Savior standing right in front of them.

I know this isn’t easy. Trust me. I’ve begged God to give me answers … but I’m realizing instead of answers, He’s given me Himself. A way to come straight to Him, the One who already has it all figured out. The One who reminds me I don’t have to have His answers to have His comfort.

Father God, I might not have all the answers to my struggles, but I’m seeing more hope than ever. Jesus is my light. And because of Him, even my darkest nights aren’t so daunting and confusing. Thank You for reminding me that this day holds Your presence, Your blessings and Your comfort. Give me eyes to see You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Some say time heals all wounds … but what if that’s not true? It’s what we do with that time that moves us forward. That’s why we’re so excited about our next Online Bible Study that will help us make real progress! Together, we’ll be reading Lysa TerKeurst’s new devotional, You’re Going to Make It: 50 Morning and Evening Devotions to Unrush Your Mind, Uncomplicate Your Heart, and Experience Healing Today, as we develop an intentional plan for staying connected to God that can apply to the rest of our year. Sign up now.





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John 8:12, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (NIV)

Have you been stuck in a place of asking God, Why this? Why me? What would it look like today to lay down those questions and simply ask Him to help you see His light in the midst of it all? Share with us in the comments!

© 2023 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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