Why is the sky blue?
Why do you blink?
Why does ice melt?
Why is that man so big?
Why is the ocean salty?
If you spend much time around a preschooler, you’re bound to get many similar questions! But how do you answer them? How much information is too much?
When my youngest son asked me why the sky is blue, I could have answered “The sky is blue because although there are lots of colors in sunlight, blue travels the shortest distance so it bounces around the atmosphere which is why our view of the sky is blue.” In which case, I would have received a blank stare and this response: “But Mom, WHY is the sky blue?”
My chosen response on that particular day: “God made the sky blue because it’s pretty to look at.” End of story.
It was a simple response to a complicated question, but one that made sense to my little one. Someday, he will learn the scientific reason behind why the sky is blue – but not until his brain is ready to comprehend it!
In the book of Job, we learn about a wealthy farmer whose trust in God was steadfast even though he lost his family, his wealth and became physically ill, covered with painful sores. His friends insisted he must have done something wicked and hypocritical to receive such a horrible punishment.
Job knew that wasn’t the case but wanted to understand WHY God would allow such great suffering in his life. He asks some pretty profound questions, throughout the book, but in chapter three, his question is one that has been repeated millions of times by broken and hurting people around the globe since the beginning of time.
“Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?” Job 3:11 (NIV)
In other words, “This is no way to live, why was I even born?”
While God alone knows the answers to such questions, sometimes it’s in our best interest that we don’t have all the answers.
In Job’s case, knowing the “why” would have defeated the purpose of his suffering.
In the absence of an answer, Job recounted every truth he knew about God and His character. Job did not allow his circumstances, pain or feelings to dictate what he thought about God or reframe the truth. In the end, although God does not tell Job WHY He allowed such suffering, He confirms and reveals more about His character, strength and power than Job could have ever hoped to know, this side of heaven.
In exchange for suffering, Job developed a deeply personal relationship with God that he could have achieved only by WHAT he went through.
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” Job 42:5
Job initially wanted answers, but God knew best. He knows what I need to know – when I need to know it.
Heavenly Father, You know best. Sometimes, like my little one asking me why the sky is blue, you know that I am simply not ready to understand. Sometimes, in your great wisdom you know I can’t handle it – and maybe, never will be able to. Or, like Job, the purpose behind the situation is so profound that only your silence can bring about the desired result. In all circumstances, however, you call me to be obedient to you. You call me to remember who you are, your character, your truth, and your promises. Whatever the purpose, thank you for keeping me on a need-to-know basis. Amen
Taking it Deeper:
Can you relate? Have you ever asked God “WHY!?!?” until you were blue in the face, only to receive…”silence?” What happened? Did you later understand the purpose? How did you work through it?
Maybe you are in the midst of a “WHY” season. Don’t allow the circumstances or your pain to dictate how you respond. Instead, like Job, fight back and remind yourself of everything you know to be true about God.
What truth about God, or promise from the Bible, has helped you through a challenging time?