Why Me? Why Now?

Sean Quillen

Many of us wonder, “If there is a God, a definitive force that is just, perfect, and wise, who is the cause and reason for everything, why do so many things appear so very unfair?”

Why do so many innocent people have it difficult, and others seem to be born with a silver spoon? Why do some pious people struggle so much, with everything appearing to sour for them, while others have it naturally easy as if they were blessed with the Midas touch?

God created us as intellectual beings, and we naturally wish to make sense of our lots in life.

The first response to this query is that, unfortunately, many people do not see life through this lens and mainly use this question as an excuse for personal, spiritual, and religious weaknesses. They are convinced that a person is ultimately in charge of his destiny.  “They” say, do not put God into the equation where He does not belong! Be smart, and work hard, and life is not always fair. Also, along the way, ensure you do not get caught by the bigger fish in the pond.

I am not addressing these types who profoundly misunderstand the universe and life.

As someone who appreciates the logical conclusion that there must be a God, take one look at the world…our question has some strong, compelling basis.

On the one hand, it would be foolish to believe that the almost infinite details of our existence in total harmony and orchestrated precision could have come together by any other explanation than an equally infinite wise force — God.

Look at the beautiful colors of a bird or an animal repeatedly replicating itself. Where does this science and precise control of the atoms and molecules come from? Look at a tiny seed placed in the earth, from which a massive tree with color, fruit, and seeds can replicate itself. Is this by chance? Impossible.

Take one look at the trillion cells in one human body, each cell a factory unto itself which operates more precisely than a 120-person orchestra, in sync with every other cell. Is all of that by chance? Happening to 7 billion people?

Look at the precision of the planets and the sun. If only a few miles north or south, the sun would destroy the Earth! And consider the idea itself of having a sun to give us light, warmth, and all the Vitamin D that we require to live. All by chance? Add all that together and the thousands and thousands of other factors we depend on during every millisecond of our existence, all coalescing precisely. By chance? Is all of it random? Senseless?

Any reasonable person must conclude that there is a God, especially that He revealed Himself to the entire Jewish nation, as recorded in the Bible.

With these thoughts in mind, the question becomes all the more powerful. How does God mess it up in my life or the lives of people I know personally?

Our sages tell us the question of a wise man is already half the answer.

Once we acknowledge our awareness of God, the Creator of the universe, we can also understand He is impossible to comprehend, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,” says God. “No one can see me and live.”

Over the years, our great Holy giants like the Baal Shem Tov — whose task is to open a small window to God’s wisdom for us, with our puny minds and narrower vision — have shown us the cause of certain tragedies and misfortunes.

The Talmud tells us the story of the good and hospitable widow who had her only source of livelihood, her cow, killed by Elijah, the prophet, to save her only son. Or the rooster, donkey, and candle of Rabbi Akiva, who the inhospitable people poorly treated in that city, and these objects were lost to him at night, only to be saved from the passing robbers.

Once we are comfortable with the qualifications of a doctor or any professional, we accept the limitations of our knowledge, not having gone to school to become a doctor ourselves, and accept the personal testimony of those who have personal experience with the doctor even when our prescription is not always easy to accept or swallow.

The Torah tells us that God intentionally places these incomprehensible occurrences before us. This is part of the plan! God wants us to struggle with these questions, so we conclude that we are finite, and it is God who is infinite.

The questions are there for us to overcome and grow in wisdom and emotional strength.

Chapter 266

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" Rabbi Ezagui opened in 1987 the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the Island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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