Why? That's the question Isabelle, our 2 and a half year old has been asking lately. And she's asking it about everything. This morning, for example, I was reading my Bible. She walks up and asks me what I'm doing. Here's the conversation:
Belle: "What are you doing, daddy?"
Me: "Reading Bible stories".
M: "Because God--who made everything, even you and me-- wrote this book. So if we want to get to know God, we should read the Bible. And I want to know God, so I'm reading Bible stories."
B: "But why?"
M: "Because I want to know God."
M: "Because God loves us, and when we read Bible stories we know that he loves us."
At this point I'm at a loss for explanation! How can a two year old possibly understand the grand scheme of what God is doing. I can't even grasp it. How do I explain sin, salvation, Jesus, eternal life, etc.? I don't. I have to trust. I have to trust that God will keep her until she can understand. That he will lead her to Jesus. That he will give her the gift of faith.
These types of "why" conversations have been happening a lot. I find myself getting really annoyed, which at first I felt really guilty about. But then I realized, I get annoyed because most of what she wants to know she cannot understand yet. I know she won't understand, I explain anyway because she asked, and then she gets frustrated because she doesn't understand my answers.
Then it hits me: this is what I do in my relationship with God. I'll look at my life and say (pardon the more colorful language) "What the heck are you doing, Dad?" Sometimes He explains (which I usually can't comprehend) and sometimes he remains silent--probably at a loss of explanation because he knows I can't possibly grasp the bigger picture of what he's doing. I think God probably even gets a little annoyed that I'm so worried about "why". But here is where my journey is unlike my 2 year old's.
You see, when my 2 year old doesn't understand, she looks at me for about 2 seconds with the questions still gleaming in her eyes. But then she let's it go, smiles, and then saunters off to go play. She's completely carefree and accepts that, whatever is going on, her daddy is going to take care of her--and that's all she needs.
But what do I do? When I don't understand, I despair. I question God. Is he even there? As David says in Psalm 42, "Why have you forgotten about me?"
But he hasn't forgotten. He's just patiently waiting for me to let it go, smile and saunter off to go live my life--completely carefree and accepting that, whatever is going on, my daddy is going to take care of me--and that's all I need.
So I'm learning (from my 2 year old, mind you) to stop asking God why, and to simply live my life carefree, trusting God more fully. I think this is why Jesus said we must become like little children to enter the kingdom of God. Not to be ignorant or immature, but to simply believe and trust Him as a child trusts his Father.