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  • Matt Foley

Dear God: Why?

MONROE – The question so many followers of Christ ask themselves, yet a question that we like to think does not exist: God, why? If there has ever been a question that I have asked of God more times than I care to admit, it is God, why?

When I look back on my personal life and take inventory, I begin to get overwhelmed as I think of all that life has sent my way. By the time I was 29 years old, I had lost both of my parents to a heart attack and cancer, I lost two of my grandparents, I was called to preach, completely changed career paths to pursue God’s call on my life, got married, had two wonderful children, began to pastor at two different churches, and the list just goes on.

In absolutely all of these situations, I found myself asking God why? Amidst these times of change in my life, the hardest hitting most certainly was the loss of my father. Next to my wife, my father was the best friend I ever had and my greatest supporter. The day before my father passed, I had just finished my field training program in law enforcement, and the following day, I was going to begin solo patrol. In addition to being on solo patrol, my father and I were going to have the opportunity to work the same shift together, which felt like a hard-working dream that was finally going to come true.

As I prepared for my first shift, I sat on the floor in my living room shining my dress boots. I was so excited to make sure my uniform was in tip top shape as I prepared for that first day. Little did I know that during this routine moment, I would have the last conversation this side of heaven with my dad. As we briefly chatted, I am so grateful that the last words we uttered to each other were “I love you”.

The next morning, which was like many other Sunday mornings, everyone in the house prepared to go to church. As the preacher began to end the service and begin a time of invitation, my father bowed his head, and suffered a massive heart attack. Despite the efforts of the congregation and even some nurses who were there, my father passed away that morning. Even as I write this story, I so vividly remember the raw emotions I felt that day and still feel at times.

On that day and many days thereafter, I began to ask God the question of why? As I have traversed the many ups and downs, I believe that God has truly answered my question of why, but not in the way I expected.

God has shown me that the answer to why is not found in material things of this world or an itemized description of why he allowed something into my life, but instead is found in his response through one of his attributes, and that is peace.

Peace is that inner state of rest, tranquility, quiet, and alignment with the Holy Spirit through the provisions of God. I love how Paul encourages the church of Philippi in Philippians 4:7 to remember that God’s peace passes all understanding.

God does not always show us the reasons why things happen in our lives, but he does provide a place of comfort and strength as we navigate our trials, and that is his peace. I can truly testify that in all my situations of life, I have never completely understood the timing of these things, but thanks be to God that even on my worst day, he was at his best!

As you have read my story, I hope that it can be a point of encouragement for you to not focus on your circumstance but focus on the place of Peace that God provides to all of his believers who seek him!



Matt Foley is Senior Pastor of Liberty Missionary Baptist Church of Monroe, MI, and he is a recent graduate of Liberty University with a degree in Biblical and Theological Studies. Matt is married to the love of his life Lindsey, and they have two children.


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