when we don't understand
Put your shoes on ... But why?
Time to eat dinner ... But why?
Don't squeeze the dog ... But why?
I must admit, it was cute — at first. But after my two-and-a-half year old nephew's 17th "But why?" my patience shriveled. I snapped. "Why? Because I said so ... THAT'S why!"
Moments later, it dawned on me: I wasn't much different than my nephew when it came to my relationship with God. I had uttered the repeated question to heaven in the midst of life's circumstances:
My friend's mom was diagnosed with cancer ... But why God?
Dear friends have endured 10 unsuccessful years trying to get pregnant ... But why God?
My former pastor was in a terrible accident paralyzing him from the waist down ... But why God?
Sometimes it's hard to understand why God allows certain things. It's difficult to fathom why a loving God allows pain and suffering. Why doesn't He intervene? Why doesn't He do something?
Why ... why ... why?
Honestly, I don't know why. The truth is, we may never know the answers to many of our ‘why' questions. A hard reality to swallow; but if we're going to continue on the journey of faith, we have to be okay not knowing.
Yet God doesn't leave us hanging. He offers this comfort: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways...as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9).
God asks us to lay down our need to understand why. It's not easy, but we can rest in the promise that when we surrender our need to know, His peace "...which surpasses all understanding," will guard us from being jaded by the world's darkness (Philippians 4:7). What a gift!
Feel like you're drowning in unfavorable circumstances? Do not lose hope in God's unwavering goodness and faithfulness. He is in ALL things — the good, the bad, the ugly — even when we don't understand the nitty gritty of it all. Make the choice to trust in His ways, which are higher than ours, remembering that His peace will cover your heart.
"...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer
and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
Ali loves living back on the East Coast where she works as a full-time campus minister at her alma mater. She wakes up every day thanking God she's paid to do what she absolutely loves — helping young women discover their unique identity in Christ and live passionately for Him. Ali is the author of Entrusting the Key: From Serial Dating to Joyful Waiting and is working on her second book. For more on Ali, check out www.alismithonline.com.
Check in with Ali at She Seeks this week.
© 2011 by Ali Smith. All rights reserved.
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