Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Why Game

Often between ages 2-4, children will start to question "why."

I remember conversations with Elijah going like this.

"Let's get ready for bed, Elijah."
He asked, "Why?"
"Because we have to get up early in the morning," I said.
"Why?" he continued.

At times, the why question kept going on and on until I didn't even have a good response for him. Yet, the questions kept coming and coming and seemed meaningless. He just needed to listen to me and move on.

I've been thinking lately about how many times I have gotten stuck in the 'why' mode and couldn't move on. When something went wrong with Jaycee's health, I would often ask God why. Sometimes, I would ask doctors why Jaycee was so sick often. When they didn't have a good answer, I would go to google and search for one. Other times, I would analyze everything I had done prior to a big respiratory distress looking for a reason as to why it happened. This often resulted in me cleaning neurotically to get rid of any allergens.

For me, I think that I often want to know why something occurred because I don't want it to happen again. If Jaycee gets really sick, I want to know if there's something I can do or medicine can do to prevent it from happening again. Most of my why questions are really motivated by fear.

Why is such a small word yet has the power to keep us in a spot where we don't need to stay. Sometimes, there are no good answers. Just hunches or guesses from our human understanding. I am convinced that most of the time whatever reason we come up with to satisfy our need to understand is probably all wrong.

Take this passage:

Acts 28: 3-6
But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, "Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live." However he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. But they were expecting that he was about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god.

The natives knew there must be a deeper reason why Paul was bitten by a viper. Obviously, he had deserved whatever he got was their first thought. When he didn't die from the bite, then they did a 180 and decided he was a god. They were playing the why game too.

Asking why isn't a bad thing, but it is if it keeps you in a mind set that doesn't allow you to move on. Not everything can be explained. Not everything has a good and justifiable reason to it.

Here's where faith comes in. When you have questions, when you don't understand, when you have doubts, you must pray and give it to God. Faith is moving forward with your life even when you don't understand. God is still there whether you have answers or not.

Whether Jaycee is healthy or sick, she is still loved by God. He is there. Whether or not I understand everything that happens in my family, God is still God. He is there. He cares. Staying faithful in times of not understanding is really the true test of our faith.

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