As my five-year-old continued to ask the question, “Why?” over and over, I could feel my blood pressure rising. This phase started when he was three and hadn’t stopped since. The only facet which changed was where his, “Why?” was directed. He had gone from asking about how things work to questioning our decisions about what he could and couldn’t do.
When I had some space to breathe and reflect on my son’s behavior, I realized I often take the same approach with God. He continues to amaze me each day with the ways he speaks to me and teaches me through my children. And yes, there have often been times when I became angry and distant from God because of that very question: Why?
Why had He allowed those acts against me which caused years of hurt and shame? Why hadn’t He answered my prayer for this person who I loved so much?
All of the unanswered questions which were buried inside me became like a venom which was eating away at my soul. I felt as though I couldn’t move forward without reasons for every pain, for every affliction.
One day several years ago after meeting with a therapist who was helping me work through my postpartum depression, I had a revelation: God is sovereign. A fact that is so simple, yet so hard for us to understand. On this side of eternity, we will never fully understand all of the inner workings of infinite God.
Sometimes, we simply have to let go.
We can stop striving with God because we realize that no matter what happens, He is in control. We accept the fact that He is God, and there is none like Him.
In 2 Corinthians, when Paul is earnestly petitioning God to remove an unnamed affliction from him, Scripture says he asked God three times to take it away. When God answers him with, “no”, He does not give a reason. He simply says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Do you think at this point, perhaps, Paul was wondering, “Why?” And yet he still continues, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships…For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
For Christ’s sake. Not because He understood. Not because it was easy. But because it wasn’t about him.
Once we begin to understand that our life has nothing to do with us and everything to do with the one who gave it does us, we find freedom. And “it is for freedom that Christ set us free.” (Galatians 5:1)