A while back I saw the movie “Breakthrough”. It is about a boy, who for all logical, medical and scientific reasoning, should have died. The mom prayed for a miracle. He lived.
It caused me to become more emotional than I had been in a while. Not because I was moved for the characters. Not because I was sappy for the storyline. It wasn’t even primarily because of the memories it resurfaced of how in one minute your normal, routine life can be shattered by the unthinkable. (Although, I’m sure that was part of it.)
I became emotional because it resurrected the questions that start with… “why.”
Why would you do a miracle for them, but not for me?
Why couldn’t that be my story?
Why did you allow everything to happen this way?
I often hear within the Christian community that we should have the faith of a child. And rightly so. It’s biblical. Jesus taught it. And often in that teaching we hear about the simple faith a child has. A faith that is accepting and believing, that trusts willingly and hungrily. I think many people walk away from those teachings feeling that to have the faith of a child, we mustn’t question God.
I don’t know about you, but I have taught, raised and nannied many children, and they all…ask…lots…of…questions. In fact, questions are quite natural.
And “why” is one of their favorites.
“Why is the sky blue?”
“Why are my eyes brown but not yours?”
“Why can’t I go, too?”
“Why is that man (fill in the blank)?”
“Why do they sound funny?”
“Why are they breaking the road?”
On, and on, and on, and on. Why, why, why. Kid’s innocence, ignorance and limited grasp on “adult matters” make questions incessant and normal. So why would we expect anything less with regard to our limited understanding in relation to God’s sovereignty?
Having the faith of a child doesn’t have to mean I button up my questions and suppress them. It doesn’t mean that I cannot cry out my confusion to my Heavenly Father. My questions don’t mean I am faithless. It means I am His child. And, I don’t understand.
Do I believe God is sovereign? Yes.
Do I still ask the questions? Yes.
Do I see God producing a work in me and creating a new calling? Yes.
Do I still wonder why Kyle couldn’t have stayed around and ministered together with me? Yes.
Does bitterness spring up? Yes.
Is faith still there? Yes.
I’m human. “Why?”…that question will probably live inside me until my last breath.
But…..it need not consume me. I choose how much power those questions have over me.
I do not need to deny their existence nor be driven by guilt because of their existence. I can be happy and full of faith and still look up and say, “I don’t get it.” I can appreciate the work God is doing in me and still wonder why God couldn’t have used other methods. I can say, “He’s God.” I can rest in that. But, I can still wonder.
Child-like faith doesn’t mean I am without questions. It simply means I trust Him with the unseen answers.
Did not many heroes of the Bible ask questions?
Job asked why he was born to endure such heartache? (Job 3:11-12) He also asked why God had set his sights on him (Job 7:19-21)
David asked why God had forsaken him when he felt abandoned. (Psalms 22:1-2) He also asked how long God would watch without seemingly acting. (Psalm 35: 17)
Gideon asked why all the bad stuff had happened to his people if God was for them? (Judges 6:13)
The Bible is full of people of faith, who often went through periods of depression, questioning, hiding and doubting. I am in good company.
So, when those weeds of bitterness spring up, I need not yank them out for fear they are bad and I am weak to have them. I simply let my seeds of faith grow, I allow God to show Himself strong, until those questions might be eclipsed by hope. Until the roots of faith have simply choked out the vitality of the bitterness.