It must be the shortest, yet most often asked question in the universe:
You’ve asked it, haven’t you?
As a mom – a teacher – a woman – my instinct is to answer “because”.
Why? Because I said so.
It is, because I say it is, and that’s the end of that. You get what you get and don’t throw a fit.
The One who designed and built my fragile frame has bent me towards order. Which makes sense, He is a God of order and I am ever leaning towards Him. But my incessant desire to keep my ducks in a row can cause my flesh and heart to fail, and why likes to wander out to seek and find.
Does why ever escape your lips?
When you can’t understand, when you just don’t get it. When it hurts and it’s simply unfair beyond the bounds of any human comprehension. When you look around and it seems like the world is tilted on an axis that is in direct opposition to everything that is good and right. When there is hurt and grief and an ache so deep that you’re willing to climb to any height just to get a glimpse of the mighty hand that finely tunes the universe.
On the trails of why are typically the footsteps of what-if. What if His plans look completely different than your own? What if you don’t get what you are certain is your self-given entitlement? What then?
Unless you are the laid back, easy come-easy go, fly by the seat of your pants person (I’m jealous of you by the way), chances are that you have asked a few, if not a few dozen, whys in your lifetime.
Our feeble, unsteady flesh cries out for the concrete answers.
Our desire is to know and understand in the midst of the chaos of the uncontrollable.
We want to know why? How? What could He possibly by thinking?
Here’s how I fight the why. It’s not as short of a question, but it most certainly is one that causes a very quick shift: What if it was worse?
That one sucker punches “why” right in the gut, doesn’t it? Seriously, what if it was worse?
What if the answer to every single one of your why queries wasn’t bathed in the deep, wide, unrelenting work of grace? But grace does wash over you.
What if the same hand that balances the world didn’t have your life nestled safely in His nail-pierced palm? But His mighty hand does hold you up.
What if you were without His sovereign view that applies an eternal perspective to your days? But He is sovereign and He searches the whole earth ready to strengthen the heart that is turned towards Him – your heart.
Go on – ask why. The fact that you search, that you ask, means you believe that there is One who can answer those cries. That your heart is open and willing to receive. That you will take Him at His word, even if the answer isn’t what you expected. That you will lay down your flesh and put on faith, believing that He is who He says He is.
“See now that I Am He. There is no God besides Me … I wound and I heal. Deuteronomy 32:39”
Ask why all you want – I promise you God can handle it. His own Son wondered and pleaded for His cup to be taken. Your probing questions no more change God’s plans than the blood tinged beads of sweat that poured from His Son did.
God has a purpose beyond what we can see, know, or understand.
He will not be swayed or moved to change because you wonder and want.
He doesn’t have to explain it to you. He’s bigger than your why.
With unconditional love, He spares you from explanations that would boggle your mind beyond the minor whys than confound you. He knows His plans are more urgent and necessary than our momentary longings for clarity and understanding.
Go on, ask Him why. He’ll indulge you. His answers to your questions are as relevant now as they were for the saints of faith who have uttered their own whys across the ages. Why has been asked and answered, but it won’t stop being asked anytime soon.
Ask God why, but then … listen, lean in, let Him cover your face with His hands as He presses His forehead to yours and whispers, My child …
Because you can do all things through Me.
Because you can trust in Me and lean not on your own understanding.
Because I work all things together for good.
Because my grace is sufficient.
Because I so loved you, I gave My Life, while you were yet a sinner.
Because this moment’s hurt is fleeting – healing waits in the wings.
Because this too shall pass in the blink of an eye.
Because I can bring beauty from ashes.
Because I give grace, and peace, to calm your wandering heart.
Because My will is perfect and … You. Can. Trust. Me.
Because if you only knew what I see – you would see – I’m taking care of you. Like the sparrows, like the flowers, like the stars and the tide, it is all in My hands and so are you. I promise. I’ve got you, I’ve got this. I’m counting your tears. I’m carrying your burdens. I’m holding you up. I’m forgiving. I’m rescuing. I’m saving you from so much worse.
Because I Am. And you are mine.