Denzel said, “thank you” and ended the call. He was polite during the call, but he was frustrated after learning he was no longer a candidate for a job that he coveted in his organization. It was “perfect” for him. He wanted to know why he wasn’t chosen but wasn’t told anything that helped him. Questions swirled in his mind:
- Did his current leader not give him a good recommendation when they called, even though he said he was supportive?
- Was it Molly sabotaging his candidacy? They never got along when they worked together, and she now worked in the department where the position was.
- Was it because of his answer to that one question? He knew he could have given a better answer, but the question surprised him, and he knew he froze.
- Was it because of his race? There was no person of color in the department?
Wondering “why?” or “why me?”, is common for all of us. We do it in our professional life when things don’t go as planned, e.g., passed over for a promotion, job was eliminated, didn’t get an interview, etc. We also do it in our personal life, why didn’t my marriage work out, why didn’t my son make the varsity team, why does my child have Downs Syndrome, etc.
We ask God to please tell us why. We cry out, “PLEASE! If I just had the answer, I’ll have peace.” Unfortunately, the answer regarding “why” something happened won’t bring you peace because that’s not where peace comes from. True peace comes from God.
Yet so many of us persist in wondering why this happened and we won’t let it go. I get it, I’ve been there myself. It’s hard to accept that you may never understand the reason. If you can’t, wondering why will control your thoughts, you’ll continue to ponder it constantly. And you’ll be stuck. Stuck in the past, where you were, not where you are going. You won’t be able to see what is next.
You must get to place of acceptance, that what happened can’t be changed.
God uses the problems of the world to shape us, to strengthen us, to build our character.
I have a friend who had a very difficult childhood, experiencing things I cannot imagine. When his wife was asked if she wished she could have changed his past, she emphatically said “no.” The reason she gave was that those experiences, as difficult as they were, had shaped him to be the man he is today, the one she loves. She’s right. Without those experiences, he’d be a completely different person.
God also uses the problems of the world to teach us to trust in Him. Every difficult experience we face is an opportunity to trust him more. It’s a chance to lean on him, not ourselves and our own understanding. In Him is where we truly find peace to deal with all the world throws at us. It takes letting go and accepting there are things that we can’t control or fix, but God can.
Stop asking “why” and begin pondering how God might use whatever you are experiencing to shape you for great things in the future.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6