From Why to I - Encouragement Café - December 5, 2016


From Why To I
By Beth Mabe Gianopulos
Monday, December 5, 2016

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.  Luke 2:16-20 NIV

“You ask too many questions, and you think too much” is a statement I have heard since I was a child.  When I see something that I feel is unfair or painful, I wonder:

            Why did God heal my child but not my friend’s child?

            Why is there so much evil in the world? 

Why would God allow me and my family to feel so much pain?

Why is there so much poverty in third world countries when first world countries have so much that we waste what we have?

At times in my life, these questions have paralyzed me.  These questions are not bad, but if I am not careful, these questions can make me feel helpless, powerless, and depressed.

When Jesus was born,

Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Luke 2:19 NIV 

I imagine that Mary wondered,

Why was I chosen to be the mother of the savior of the world?  Why did God decide to come into the world as a powerless and helpless infant?

If you read further in Luke, you will see that as Jesus grows, Mary continues to ponder.  I wonder if at some point she stopped wondering “why did God choose me?” and started pondering, “how can I be the best mother I can be to the savior of the world?” 

If we want to have the heart of Jesus, we must slow down to be present and see the world that we live in.  When we take time to ponder the sadness and pain we see in the world, the things that break Jesus’ heart will break our heart.  

The true power of pondering happens when we use our questions about the injustice and pain we witness to transform our questions from “why did this happen?” to “What can I do to help?  How can I bless this person and give them hope?” 

Then our questions are transformed from, “why didn’t God heal my friend’s child?” to “how can I help my friend through her grief.”  The question, “why is there so much evil in the world?” transforms to “how can I be a light to others in the darkness?” 

When we transform our “why” to “I”, we see that although the world is broken and filled with “why”, “I” have the power to be a light in the darkness and share the love of Jesus.    

We witness injustice, pain and suffering daily.  Instead of rushing past the pain and sadness you see in the world, take time to ponder the questions that you have. 

As you ask God “why”, ask God to transform your “why” to “I”.  Ask God to show you what you can do to share the love, hope, and light of Jesus.    

Jesus, help us slow down and see the world we live in.  Open our eyes to the things that break your heart.  When we wonder why so much pain and sadness can be in the world, guide us and show us how we can bring some light and hope to the darkness.  Thank you for loving us.   In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2016 by Beth Mabe Gianopulos.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Monday, 05 December 2016.