malcolm marler

on a mission to embody grace and compassion in all relationships

Turning Why Into How

A couple of patients reminded me of an important lesson recently.

When bad or hard things happen to us in our lives, it is reflexive to ask “Why?”

“Why did this happen to me?” we say as we wonder silently, or maybe aloud.  We are searching for meaning or a lesson in the event that was predetermined, fixed, static.

Whether it is a death or a diagnosis in the life of someone we love, it is easy to ask why and then get stuck.  “Why?” “Why?” “Why?”  Unfortunately, no booming voice comes out of the sky to announce the lesson and make everything alright.

On the other hand, it is more empowering to be co-creators with God and to look forward to ask the more productive, action-oriented question of “How?

The question is, “How can this experience (even if it is tragic) work for good in my life and in the life of others?

The “How can this work?” question is one of faith. The “How” expects lessons to be learned, perspective to be changed, and new meaning to come to light.

Don’t misunderstand me. The “How” question is not a quick fix.  It can take months or even years to discover an answer.  But when an answer is found, it is an answer we can trust for bringing new purpose and meaning into our lives.  It is like discovering a deep, life-giving water for our dry, thirsty, parched lives.

So I ask you my readers, how have hard, difficult events been used in your life to change you and impact the lives of others, with God’s help?

I’d love to hear the “How” of your lives in the comments below.

Peace be with you.

2 Comments

  1. Malcolm:
    This is a very good point you make and a true one. When I was told in 1996 that I full blow AIDS and to enjoy my life I would more than likely not make it a year. I asked the why questions over and over, even was not sure if life was worth trying to live out for that year. However within the first 3 months of my diagnosis my attitude and take on life changed that to God. God showed me that live was worth living and that mine was not over. From that point on God has shown me that even with HIV/AIDS he can use me and has done just that. In the 14 years that I have been positive I have grown closer to God in ways I need thought possible. I also became a Minister of God’s Word and most recently the Minister/Pastor of a church. So yes we can turn the why into how. Would I go back and change it? No way would I ever be the man God would have me to be today. Thanks be to God!
    Blessings in Christ
    Tony

  2. Tony,

    Thank you for sharing your story with me, and with my readers. You have lived the “turning of the why into how” in a dramatic way. I am so glad you are getting the opportunity to be a pastor at this time in your life. You have so much to offer.

    I appreciate you,
    Malcolm

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