With all the remembrances of September 11, 2001 this past Sunday, we were reminded of the most common question after the horror of that bright, sunny morning: why? Why did these 19 people do this? Why act in such a horrific way without at least discussing their issues with us first? Why did God allow this to happen? Why is a common question when we consider our lives and God because we all have experiences that seem contrary to the mighty, grace-filled God we hear about on Sundays. I believe, though, that the more important question is how? There are many answers out there that pastors and lay persons alike have given as to ‘why God allowed it to happen’, but I submit to you that all of them are conjecture. None of us is God. We cannot read His mind or know his thoughts: 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 
And, even if God provided an answer to that question, it still wouldn’t change our circumstances. But when we ask the question ‘how’, we give God opportunity to act in our lives for significant impact. After all, though He did not promise we would have only wonderful things in our lives, He did promise never to leave or forsake us. How can we begin a dialogue with those who hurt us? How do we choose to live now that this happened? How do we allow God to redeem this tragedy? These are questions that we have a hope to answer with God’s help. These are the questions that allow a tragedy to be remembered, yes, but also transformed into a source of strength and inspiration for the future through the God who walks with us on the mountaintop and in the valley.

About Rev Uch

I'm a United Methodist pastor serving Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Bradenton, Florida. My husband and I have been here since July 2019. We are thrilled to learn more about Bradenton. Stop by our website at http://www.eumcbradenton.org/ for more information about me and the church.
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4 Responses to Why?

  1. Amber says:

    Asking WHY IS pointless trust me, although in my humaness I still ask it ALOT! The answer is relatively simple however we choose to not accept it or simply do not understand it. It being that it is all part of God’s will and plan. Of course asking How is a much more productive way to gleen understanding and potentially a more satisfactory answer we are willing to accept. How does this further God’s will and plan? What is the big picture? All these questions usually are answered eventually as things progress and come to a certain resolvenent. Patience is key to gaining answers and we humans are not particularly good at waiting…


  2. Dan says:


    I immediately use Matt 5:45
    God rains on both reighteous and unreighteous. That is how I explain 911 to teens.


    • Pastor Kim says:

      Look at the context of the text more closely, though. It’s about no one having an excuse to mistreat our enemies since God’s goodness is showered on everyone. It makes me think of God’s prevenient grace that even those who do not know Him still receive His grace so who are we to likewise treat our enemies as well as we do our friends. I understand the connection you want to make here. But if you do so, then I think that you are saying the reverse of what the passage says, which to me would appear to be that God sends evil on the unrighteous and righteous. I’m not willing to go there with you. I don’t believe God sends evil things our way. I can affirm that evil affects the righteous and unrighteous alike but I don’t think that God is the source of that evil.


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