We have yet to enter the most dreaded phase of parenting: the why phase. Jakob doesn’t seem to care why we do things yet. He just does them, with or without gentle nudging, depending on the day and mood. But I know a day is coming that I won’t even be able to go to the bathroom without explaining why to him. It’s inevitable. Kids want to know why everything. I have dealt with it on a children’s pastor level, but not as a parent yet. I believe that from my occasional response, I will break the vow I made when I was younger to never say, “Cause I’m your dad, and I said so,” since I’ve said pretty much the same thing to kids at church at times. Just exchange dad for in charge, and you’re there.
Though adults can find it annoying to be constantly asked why by a child, I feel like adults do it, too. Only we do it to God. We become his four year olds. I know that I do, anyway. I often wonder why God allows this or that to happen or why He wants me to do something or whatever. Sometimes it’s just something simple that He asks me to do, and other times it’s major moves and shifts in life.
Why do I have to move? (I’m not moving, that’s just an example)
Why did you let that person in my life?
Why can’t I make more money?
Why can’t I just eat Dorito’s and drink Cherry Coke and lose weight at the same time?
Why do you let people get sick?
Why do people have to die?
There are times in our lives when we will be at a loss. We do not always understand what God’s doing or what He’s allowing to happen, and all we’re left with is grief, sorrow, annoyances, and wondering why. But then that’s when faith is revealed, because it’s the dark times in life that require faith to be strong. Believing that God’s ways are best when everything is going great for you doesn’t take as much faith as believing His ways are best when things are messy and painful. Strong faith believes that God’s way is best, even when we do not understand it. When we are left wondering why, and there seems to be no answers, we have to remember the words of Isaiah 55:8-9:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways.”
We may never understand why, because we cannot fully comprehend the way God works. We just have to rest in the promise of Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”