Mommy, why is the sky blue? Mommy why do birds fly and not walk? Mommy why is my tummy hungry? Anyone who has ever had or been around children knows that the “whys” are part of being a child. Almost as soon as our young ones learn to interact with the world around them in words they begin asking why. Sometimes we can answer……God decided blue was a good color, birds have stronger wings than legs, because you haven’t eaten for four hours. Mommy, why can’t I go to bed all dirty from playing? Because I said so. Mommy, why did granny have to go to heaven? I don’t know son.
The why’s don’t stop as we grow older, they simply change, become more complex, more troubling at times, more……unanswerable. God why IS the sky blue? God, why can’t my heart seem to fly instead of stumble around blindly? God, why can’t I stop craving pop-tarts? Why did this man intrude upon a little girl’s body? Why did you give me the daddy I dreamed of then take him away too soon? Why does so much pain happen? So, does God answer us, does he satisfy these why questions for His children? He does and He will. Sometimes He answers why in the world around us. The sky is blue because of atmospheric conditions. Why does your heart not fly? Walk with Me God tells us and I will open the cage door and your heart will fly with freedom never before known. Pop-tarts? We will discuss that one another time. Pain? And this is a big one……..all I can say is God tells us in His Word to walk alongside Him, to trust Him, there are times He reveals why right away, other times that it takes years for any why to make sense, then there are those why’s that simply won’t be answered this side of heaven but we can know that when we enter our glory we will understand the whole story. Right now we look at only bits and pieces, highlights, lowlights and partial endings. The full story will reach it’s completion when we enter glory with our Lord and Savior. This however is small consolation to many who continue to grasp at the why’s, demanding answers and living in shadows of our past.
When Jacob was going to meet his brother Esau he came to a stream, there he sent his wives, maidservants and all his possessions across the stream and he remained behind, alone in the darkness. Why? I’m not totally sure, maybe to prepare himself for what was to come. However, as he waited a man came and they began wrestling. They wrestled the entire night and in the morning knowing Jacob would not be defeated a swift kick in the hip left Jacob walking with a limp and with something more….a new identity. You see, whatever Jacob was fighting seemed not of this world and Jacob, when asked to release the man because day had broken oddly replied, not unless you bless me first. Seems strange he fought this “man” all night, won even though his hip was displaced but when the “man” seemingly surrendered Jacob refused to acqueisce until he received the “man’s” blessing. Some believe the man was an angel, others a God man Jesus, we don’t know. What we do know is whoever he was Jacob surely knew that without His blessing he would not survive. Jacob walked away from this encounter with two things…..a dislocated hip (seemingly leaving a permanent limp) and a new name (Israel).
Finding our own answers to the big why questions seems to take a course similar to Jacob. We argue, we try to control the meeting (Jacob had planned how he would speak with Esau). Then, just as Jacob when we really pursue the answer to painful why’s we have to make a decision as Jacob did. Stay and face the issue or continue avoiding. When we choose to stay, many times we end up seemingly on a dark night in a strange wrestling match. God is right there, beside us but the work that occurs throughout that dark night is enough is take away our breath. We wrestle with God…..but you promised to care for me. My child I did care for you, it looked different that you imagined but I cared for you. But God…..why my daddy? Why was my heart broken? Why couldn’t you leave me the daddy of hugs and ponies and take away the scary daddy? We wrestle with God over many questions, we allow him to burrow deep into the pain of our hearts and when the morning comes we discover that not always does the why really matter. In the morning the sun rises, it shines on the little sister we have grown close to, the little sister that never would have been if the scary daddy had been taken away. It shines on a grown woman, sharing her pain with others in order they might know there is hope for healing. It shines on the scars and limps that come from those painful wrestling matches; scars and limps that are reminders of what He has done and how far we have come.
Will all of our why’s be answered? YES, without a doubt they will be answered, maybe in this life, maybe in the next. But I believe if we allow ourselves, open ourselves to His full and abiding presence the why’s become less important than the healing and ability to share His grace, mercy and love. The why’s eventually become a background noise as we are blessed with His love beyond our wildest imaginations!
I pray for you dear friends that the why’s sitting around in your heart are ministered to, are healed and that the answer or the knowing an answer will come become a bright and shining light of His everlasting Love, Grace, Mercy and Salvation. Let Him tend to your why’s, He created us to ask and He will love us through the wrestling match. I bless each of you with the everlasting and abiding presence of His love and grace….and may your scars and limps reflect His glory. Amen