I've been writing about discipline, and how I'm trusting God's purpose and plan in all of the circumstances of my life - even the bad ones. But it's so normal to ask "why?" For example, why does my young son suffer? How can a father even begin to comprehend suffering of that nature - so far out of my control - how can anything good be found there?
C.S. Lewis' book A Grief Observed is a treasure of honesty in the midst of suffering; so personal that Lewis published it anonomously. Towards the end of the record of his wrestling with God following the death of his wife Joy, he made a statement which resonates with me tonight - when I'm thinking about today's "why" questions:
"When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of 'no answer.' It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, 'Peace, child; you don't understand.'
Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. How many hours are there in a mile? Is yellow square or round? Probably half the questions we ask - half our great theological and metaphysical questions are like that."
I'm not sure about the percentage he mentions, but I think Lewis was on to something important. I thank God that His ways are higher than mine... that He has a greater plan and purpose than my mind can comprehend.
I don't want to stop asking questions. And life cries out sometimes with them... But I don't have to be overwhelmed by them. We do really "see through a glass darkly" now.
So while many of my questions are unanswered, I still find comfort in the character of our God... I believe that He's worth loving, following - and even trusting - regardless of my understanding of the path along which He's leading me.