Last night, my preschool sister came over for a “sister sleepover,” excited for some one-on-one time with her big sister and a chance to play with the dogs. We scarfed down some Mackinac Island Fudge ice cream and she saw my prayer beads and asked what they were and if we could pray then went to brush her teeth.
As she walked out of the bathroom, she squinted her eyes uncomfortably and asked, “Umm, why are there no kids here? Because you are like a mom and a dad but… no kids.”
She awkwardly waited for a response to her question. I fumbled through and tried to come up with something to help her 4-year-old mind grasp why no little feet toddled alongside us but, I had nothing to offer her.
Because honestly, I have nothing to tell myself.
Why are there no kids here?
It’s the question that I have both sobbed in my prayers and quietly asked God in my heart. Why?
Why did God let me experience this pain?
Why does the brokenness of the world, the pang of the Fall, strike even my life? Why did God give me a dream of a family, of motherhood, only to pull the rug out from under my feet?
I’m left to either think that God is not sovereign or that God willingly let my dream shatter before my eyes.
We all have dreams that have died, prayers that have gone understand, moments that leave us with single-word prayers, “Why?”
Psalm 94 begs the same question.
O Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult? – Psalm 94:3
How long will God let injustice continue? How long will we cry out, begging for an answer? When will all be made right?Click To Tweet
Why did God allow me to experience infertility? Why did God take all of my babies to heaven? Why does God allow the widow to live in grief, the child to live with hunger, and the nations to live with Earth-shattering war?
I want an easy answer.
I want to rattle off a Bible verse about all things working together for good but even that’s not enough. I want to answer the “why” fully. I want to understand in a way that makes the pain of today fade away because of the knowledge I have.
But answers, whys, aren’t really what I’m looking for. And right now, they don’t satisfy me that way I expect them to. Because really? That’s not what they were intended to do.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:17-28, ESV
There are no easy answers because we aren’t dealing with the good of this world, we are dealing with unseen whys that our invisible God answers in ways our broken minds and bodies are not equipped to deal with.There are no easy answers because we aren’t dealing with the good of this world, we are dealing with unseen whys that our invisible God answers in ways our broken minds and bodies are not equipped to deal with. Click To Tweet
And when we deal with unknowns, we simply have to cling to what is known, and what God has revealed to us.
“For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you.” – Isaiah 54:7, ESV
In the moments when we feel deserted, when our hearts feel broken and shatters and emptied of all the questions that we long for answers to, we have to know that the broken pieces will be gathered up again.
He is not indifferent, He will act with compassion on my behalf.
So I will wait patiently, asking why God allowed my dream of being a mother to die, but trusting in what is unseen. But while I trust that God is good, I’m going to cling to the goodness that I know while also rejecting that I do not know. I know God is good, I know He is trustworthy, but I do not know why He does the things He does.
I can speculate, but speculation often leaves me angry at theoretical reasons, not comforted like I expected.
Comfort comes, not from knowing the why, but from asking the why and being embraced by the One who knows the number of hairs on my head. Because while I may not answers, the One who does holds me, and assures me that all is well. He assures me that today’s heartbreak shall not last forever, and that more will come, and that more will be more that I can bear in the most beautiful way there is.