When Every Why Goes Unanswered
When our world comes crashing down, it does more than steal our peace. Something inside us tears. We feel broken, stranded—torn.
We naturally ask the question “Why?” when we’re hurting. But as pastor Jud Wilhite turned to the Bible in his own pain, he was surprised to discover that another question matters more: “Who?” Who is worthy of our trust when our trust when our lives are in pieces?
You may be experiencing a time of such darkness that you wonder if you will ever find “normal” again or look toward the future with hope. In Torn, Jud explores your questions as well as God’s answers—and God’s mysteries. With a pastor’s heart, he looks with you at practical ways to fight for joy, deal with anger and depression, and make the million tiny decisions that add up to a life committed to God, even when your heart is broken.
It’s not about having better arguments for the purpose behind our suffering. It’s about our relationship with God—a relationship that can flourish even when our whys go unanswered.
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Jud Wilhite is an author, speaker, and the senior pastor of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas. More than nineteen thousand people attend its multiple campuses each weekend. Jud’s books include Throw It Down, Eyes Wide Open, and Uncensored Grace. Jud and his wife, Lori, reside in the Las Vegas area with their children and a slobbery bulldog named Roxy.
Read an Excerpt
When I was growing up, the playground was the setting for an entire series of nonsanctioned school games. These games were different from tag and duck, duck, goose. This elite category of games has been handed down from generation to generation. Games like monkey bar wars, truth or dare, and kill the carrier, to name just a few.
One of the most famous nonsanctioned playground games is bloody knuckles. In case you’re not familiar with it, let me explain that bloody knuckles is a simple game that tests your speed, your strength, and most important, your tolerance for pain. Two kids stand facing each other with knuckles touching. Then one tries to whack the other’s knuckles as hard as he can. Next, the other kid goes. Back and forth, whack after whack. This goes on until one of them quits for a simple reason: the pain becomes too intense.
The game has grown so much in popularity that there is now a World Bloody Knuckles Association (WBKA). The WBKA has a commissioner, official rules, and an option for membership. For just ten dollars, you can receive a membership card and a bumper sticker.
Ever feel like life is one big game of bloody knuckles? Except for one difference—you can’t quit. Every time you turn around, you get whacked. You try to dodge it. Whack! You beg it to stop. Whack! You pray. Whack! You do everything in your power to avoid it. Whack! Whack! Whack! The pain intensifies. The suffering is daunting. And you’re not sure what to do with it or where God is in it.
Maybe you recently experienced your own version of bloody knuckles. Maybe you lost a loved one, and the hurt has turned to denial and anger. You’re really confused. Perhaps you lost a job, and the frustration and discouragement continue to grow. You read about God’s promises, but you don’t understand why this has happened. Maybe you live with chronic pain. You would give anything just to be free of pain and not be distracted by it.
Regardless of your situation, I know that when your very soul is being torn apart, you want an answer for “What am I supposed to do?” And I know from experience that it often feels as though there’s nothing you can do. But the primary equipment you need to trust God in your pain and suffering is your pain and suffering. You already have the necessary tools; you just need the skilled hands of a loving God to wield them. So the first thing to do at the site of rebuilding is to hand over the tools in trust.
In this chapter we’ll consider what it looks like to hand over these tools and worship God in our struggles. Most of us, when faced with enormous obstacles or daunting challenges, like to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, trust in our own abilities, and say confidently, “I’ve got this.” But since we have a relationship with the God of the universe, who loves us and cares for us, it makes infinitely more sense to submit to him and say, “God, you take this one.”
My friends Chris and Kim Trethewey went through several years that felt like one long, losing game of bloody knuckles. About a year and a half into their marriage, they decided to start trying to have kids. The thought of having a family captured their hearts and consumed their conversations. They assumed that in no time they’d have two kids and the white picket fence. They would live the American Dream.
The reality was far from the ideal, and it tore their lives apart. After enduring three and a half years of unsuccessful fertility treatments, they sat down with a doctor who said, “We’ve done everything we can. We don’t know why, but you’re not able to have kids.”
Chris and Kim walked with an emotional limp after this tremendous blow, but eventually they explored other options. Through an incredible series of events, they adopted two siblings: Kiara, who had just turned one, and Caden, who was three months old.
Caden was born four months premature and was still in the hospital when my friends first saw him. He had been there since birth, with three holes in his heart and underdeveloped lungs. A devoted medical team repaired his heart and inserted a tracheal tube to help his breathing. Remarkably, his health improved, and the doctors were extremely positive about his future. He began eating regular foods and drinking out of bottles. Time was all that was needed for his lungs to develop.
Chris and Kim virtually lived at the hospital for months until they finally got both kids home. Each day they thanked God for answering their prayers and blessing them with children. Their dream had finally become a reality. Then one morning around seven o’clock, Caden’s apnea monitor went off. Chris ran in to find Caden in his crib with a distressed look on his face unlike any Chris had seen before. Chris called 911 and tried to give little Caden CPR, but it wasn’t working.
Chris remembers, “I’ll never lose that image in my mind of just knowing there was nothing I could do. I begged God. I begged him for a miracle. I begged God to save his life. I sat there, and I said everything I could to say, ‘God, please! I’ve seen you work miracle after miracle in the lives of so many people. Today I need you to save my son. I
know that you can. I know you have the power to save him. Please! Give me that one request.’ But he was silent.”
My friend continues, “To this day I’m not sure why God didn’t answer my request. I still wonder why. I’m not sure there is really a reason God could give me. What I do know is that God hurts with us. Our loss is his loss.”
In their anger and hurt, Chris said there was a still, small voice inside him and his wife that said, “God gave you this child. It’s his to take away.”
I sat with Chris at the hospital that day. I watched as he shifted into autopilot to move through the next days and weeks. I wept for Chris and Kim and prayed with them. I saw how deep a crater Caden’s death had left in their hearts.
I begged God, “Today I need you to save my son.” But he was silent.
Countless moments of grief came at them from nowhere. The sense of loss touched everything in their lives. As the months passed, they began to work through the stages of grief. They had times of guilt, anger, rage, hurt, and just plain numbness. It was hard for them to understand what they were feeling and how to deal with it in a healthy way.
Kim had been feeling sick at one point and was convinced she had the flu, but her sister surprised her and said, “Kim, you don’t have the flu. You’re pregnant.” Kim dismissed the idea, saying, “Okay, you’re a schoolteacher. I paid a lot of money to a man who specializes in this, and he said there is no way.” But she decided to take a pregnancy test. She prepared herself emotionally for the test to be negative, as it had been countless times before. But this time, amazingly, it was positive. She couldn’t believe it. Despite the fact that all the doctors had said it was impossible,
she was expecting.
Later that year she gave birth to a beautiful little girl they named Claire. Chris said, “I kind of laughed the first time I held Claire. It was a laugh to say, ‘God, I get it. You’ve called us to follow you. Not to make sense out of all the stuff going on. Not to understand it.’ As I held Claire for the first time, I was blown away by the miracle of birth. It was God saying, ‘I’m with you.’”
Now, it’s not as though Claire was an even exchange for Caden. It’s not as though having Claire meant not grieving the loss of Caden. In a way, it actually intensified the loss they were still trying to make sense of. But in the gift of Claire, the Tretheweys learned that even though they did not know why things happened as they did, they had settled the who question. They knew they could trust God, and they derived their strength from him.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Trusting God When Torn
1 Tom Apart 13
2 Refraining Your Expectations 31
3 Life Interrupted 49
4 Courageous Trust 67
Part 2 Putting The Pieces Back Together
5 Share the Struggle 87
6 Check Your Assumptions 101
7 Waiting for God 113
8 Fight for joy 135
9 Learning to Forgive 157
Study Guide 179
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Is carried in
Jud Wilhite is an author, speaker and senior pastor of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas. Jud graduated from Dallas Christian College and holds a master’s degree from Lincoln Seminary. Jud co-founded People of the Second Chance which is a blog and a movement of people championing grace and love in our culture. Jud is an espresso fanatic and loves playing the guitar. I got his latest book "Torn - Trusting God When Life Leaves You in Pieces." from his publisher Multnomah Books, so that I could write a review for my blog; and I think the title speaks for itself - this book is about trust. Wilhite writes in a very open and very easy to read voice. I think he does a good job explaining that all Christians suffer at times, sure it's not what we expect, but we learn to trust God though it all. This isn't an easy thing for believers. I mean, how do you "trust" God when it seems "he" is the one beating you up? Wilhite dives into the misnomer that being a Christian means your life is going to be easy and free of pain. Wilhite breaks the subject in half - trusting God and then putting the pieces back together, and for its size and subject matter, he does a great job getting you the basics. That' what this book is, a refresher, a reminder, a devotional on hurting and pain. This isn't a biblical treatise or even the "why" to the issue. After all, how would the author talk about "why" anyway? Can any of us truly answer the sovereignty of God question? Doubtful. Wilhite moves past "why" to address the matter of "who" - who is God? And moreover, "who is God at this moment?" We trust God when things are going great - we should trust him even more when we feel torn. I think this book would make a great gift for pastors who are looking to offer key members a shoulder or a catalyst towards being put back together again. This book is for anyone who is hurting and broken and who needs a gentle reminder who holds the needle and thread of our lives.
Torn provides knowledge, tips, and tools for navigating through life and trusting God when things aren¿t going so great. For the most part, it is relatively easy to love and trust God when everything is working in your favor. Torn points out the reasons why it is most essential to trust in the Lord during the difficult times when you feel as though you have been forsaken. One key point expressed was that we often ask the wrong questions when we find ourselves struggling through the pits of life. Rather than asking why we are being punished or why God is forsaking us and causing us to suffer, we should be asking who we should turn to for help. God never promised we would have a life free of pain and suffering, but that he would never leave us through it all. By changing the way we view life¿s downs, we can develop a stronger relationship with God. A few years back, a dear friend of mine suffered the loss of a child. This was a very difficult time for all of us. I remember my friend asking me why God would allow the death of her firstborn child. She wondered if God even existed because a loving God would never wish to see her suffer such a loss. I could not find any words to comfort her or even reassure her that there was a loving God watching over us. I wish I had read Torn back then, because I would have been able to point out to her how God does sometimes allow suffering and pain in order to build us up and strengthen our bond with Him. Many of us have misconstrued the promises of God. He never said the road would be easy but he did say that he would be with us every step of the way, through good times and bad. Torn helps put those promises in perspective. The premise Torn reminds me of the poem Footprints. When life is sometimes impossible to bear, there are only one set of footprints in the sand and they belong to a loving God who carries us during those times. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, however I am not biased at all.
We all know trials come in life and how we respond to them is the key to whether we grow in our faith or not. While you are going through a trial have you ever felt like life is unfair, where is God, why has/is this happening then this book is for you. I picked up this book because I was greiving the death of my 30 hour old grandson and I was wanting to see what this book (outside of the Bible)had to say to me during this very difficult time.For me who has been a Christian for over 40 years there wasn't anything new for me to learn, but don't get me wrong this is a excellent book for anyone experiencing a dark, difficult time in their life.It is a short book right at 200 pages including a study guide for self examation, or small groups discussion. Jud Wilhite the author, and pastor of a church in Las Vegas, Nevada writes from a Biblical perspective of things he learned while he was in a hard, dark, low place in his life when he felt broken and torn.The book consists of two part. Part one Trusting God when you are torn and part two is about the putting the pieces together again after being torn from events that have happened to you. I don't want to spoil the authors thunder but one of the points he makes is that often we have the wrong expectations of God. eg. life as a Christain will be sweet pie in the sky bye and bye which isn't Biblical. Our focus shouldn't be on the why but on the Who, as in who is worthy of our trust during difficult times. Another point Mr Wilhite makes that helps is sharing the struggle with other Christians. I highly recommend this book especially if you are in the midst of a very trying time in your life, this book along with the Scriptures will be very helpful to you. If you are not currently in a trying time this book can help you help someone who is going through a trying difficult time. I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review and I wasn't given any advise as to what to write in my review.
Torn by Jud Wilhite We've all felt like we're being torn to pieces. Pulled from one thing to another so much that we can't do anything effectively. Sound like someone you know? Yes, Me Too! In his book Torn, Jud Wilhite helps us to take an inside look at our life and our tears and teaches us to trust God when we feel like giving up. We've all ask God Why? Or at least I have, many times. But sometimes he doesn't answer like I want Him to. But the important thing to remember is that He doesn't have to answer to us. I remember hearing a wonderful Christian lady say that God can do anything he wants to do, just because He is God. But one promise that gives us peace is that God will always do what is best for us, and we need more than ever to remember this. I appreciate that the author finished this book with the following wonderful and powerful promise. It is found in Psalm 23:4 "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." If you are hurting in any way, I encourage you to read this book and let the words of others and the words of God give you peace and comfort as you heal. I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah blogging for books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55.
In today's world of dissapointments, hardships and depression, the book Torn: Trusting God When Life Leaves You in Pieces by Jud Wilhite is very relevant. Wilhite does not present Christianity as a utopia where one's problems always go away and everything works out perfectly in finance, family and health. The prosperity gospel paints a distorted view of faith, and it results in many disolusioned individuals. In contrast, this book points out the error of prosperity teaching and the disservice it does to those seeking truth and in seeking a relationship with God. In contrast to the previous book I reviewed by the same publishing group, Relentless, this book shows that illness, death, poverty and other adverse circumstances do in fact affect believers with a strong faith. In fact, in this fallen world, we can not escape the consequences of sin, sickness, financial issues, health issues, crime, death or natural disasters. The important thing is not to see illness or adverse circumstances as a result of weakened faith. The author shows it is possible to strengthen one's peace, and relationship with God, even when the world around you is falling apart. This book illustrates this with the examples of Job and Joseph. It even shows the suffereing Jesus went through in the Garden of Gethemane, when he too suffered and experienced pain. God does not ignore our prayers or our hardships. As a blogger for Water brook multnomah publishing group, I receieved this book for the purpose of writing this review.
TORN: TRUSTING GOD WHEN LIFE LEAVES YOU IN PIECES by Jud Wilhite is a great Christian Living tool. It is written with details. When every question seems to go unanswered,you wonder why,but God's answers are sometimes hard for us to hear. This book explores your questions as well as God's answers and his mysteries. It gives you practical ways to have joy,deal with depression,anger,make decisions,help a broken heart,your ease your suffering while having a relationship with God. A great resource tool while giving insightful teachings. Received for review from the publisher.Details can be found at Multnomah Books and My Book Addiction Reviews.