“Why” question

Incoming freshmen at the military academies are only allowed to say four things when spoken to by an upperclassman:

“Yes sir.”

“No sir.”

“Sir I do not know.”

“Sir, my I ask a question?”

Freshmen are also taught that the only acceptable answer to a “why” question is, “No excuse, sir.”

There are good reasons to drill into future officers the discipline of not making excuses. When lives are on the line, there’s no place for excuses.

And often little time to explain “why.”

Perhaps the most famous “why” question in history was the one Jesus cried out from the cross. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

You might know that, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” is the first line of Psalm 22. What you might not know is that, in Jesus’ day, when you quoted the first line of a passage, it was a way of calling to the reader’s mind the entire passage. All the Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, referred to Psalm 22. In other words, Psalm 22, the ancient cry of one who felt abandoned by God, is a key to understanding who Jesus is.

Many of us have never experienced such a prolonged time of discouragement and abandonment like we’re going through today, and we want to know why.

If Jesus prayed Psalm 22 from the cross, shouldn’t we pray it too?

Jesus so identified with our feeling of abandonment that he cried the words of Psalm 22 from the cross. No matter how discouraged, how abandoned we feel, we know without any doubt that God identifies with us.

God has not abandoned us.

It’s OK to ask God the great “why” questions.

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