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Speaking in Stories
Stories for Preachers, Teachers, and Writers

Better Questions

Years ago, John Claypool’s eleven year old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. John’s first response was to ask why. “Why God, is there such a thing as leukemia?” Why did my little girl have to get it?” But after a while John realized these kinds of why questions, while understandable, were ultimately futile. The fact is, he would never know why. And even if he did, it would not help much. Therefore, he began to ask other, more helpful questions.

First, John asked “what” questions including: “What treatments are available? What do I tell my daughter? What can I do to give her support? What can I do to help my wife through this?” When John moved from asking “why” questions to asking “what” questions, he was better able to cope with the crisis.

Second, John asked the “who” question. “Who can help me through this crisis?” And when he did, John discovered, along with millions of others through the ages—that God can help. God does not give us answers, for that would not be enough. Instead, God gives himself. God gives his companionship. God gives his courage. God gives his strength. God gives his hope. And that is worth a thousand answers and ten thousand reasons.