Don’t you love the propensity of little kids to voice that little three-letter word with voracious curiosity? I’m sure it has wearied many a diligent mother and well-meaning teacher, but I can’t help but respect the curious mind – especially when it open doors for me to share about Jesus.
Recently, I was eating dinner with a Muslim family and received the following question. “WHY is it that God answers your prayers and my prayers and the prayers of my Hindu friends, and the prayers of my Buddhist friends? WHY would He do that if only one of us is following the true path?” God was gracious to give me a response. I answered with my own WHY question, “Let me throw another wrench into the problem – WHY does it appear that God is kind to the wicked person – the person who does not pray?” S’s eyebrows arched and he simply nodded his head at me as if to say, “Go on; you have my attention.”
I then summarized Psalm 73 for him. In this song, the Psalmist labors with God over his discouragement at watching the wicked prosper and live seemingly blessed lives; yet ultimately he comes to peace with God when he remembers the end of the wicked and how disastrous it will be. “The end of a life tells the true story of a person’s faith more than the journey,” I explained. “God is kind and merciful to all people, but in the end, He will judge those who did not follow His way.” Then God laid part of Matthew 5:45 on my heart where Jesus says, “[God] sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” I reiterated God’s desire to be kind to every person but how he will eventually have to punish sin.
S considered my response, and then we were able to have a good discussion on our differing views of eternal life – he believing that every one will work off their sin after they die and eventually go to heaven; me stating that we must receive a clean heart via Jesus before we die in order to go to heaven. The conversation ended with him stating that we would just have to agree to disagree on the issue of how to gain eternal life.
Oh, how God desires for all men to come to repentance and pours out his kindness day after day in order to draw them to Himself!
Pray for me that I’ll always have an answer for the WHY questions in such a way that the gospel is proclaimed among my people. Also pray for S – I’ve printed off the above Scriptures and am hoping for an opportunity to give them to him letting his know that I’ve taken his question seriously.