Parents get asked a lot of questions. My children like to grill me on the way to school, while I’m trying to keep them all from getting run over or walking in dog poo. The questions range from “Is it C THREE PO or C E PO?” to “How does fruit grow?” and often include several follow-up questions. Sometimes I don’t know the answers; sometimes I do.
My friends ask me questions sometimes too, and sometimes I know the answers, but sometimes I don’t. Sometimes life gives me questions to ask, and often I cannot find the answers.
I know why bad things happen in general, but I don’t know why certain bad things happen. This week I found out that a 3 year old boy who used to play with my son went to bed on Friday night with a cold and never woke up. How utterly tragic and horrifying. I don’t know why that happened.
When something devastating happens, people often say “I don’t know what to say.” Sometimes there isn’t a lot to say, other than words of mourning. And often we don’t feel we should say those words. Words such as “why?” and “how long?” Maybe we feel that instead of asking questions, we should have the answers. But sometimes nobody has the answers.
I know that death entered the world when sin entered the world, but I don’t know why certain people die when they do. When they’re so young, when so many people will miss them.
I know that we sin against each other because we sin against God, but I don’t know why certain people get away with doing such terrible things to people.
I know that because of sin there is injustice, but I don’t know why some people never have enough of the things that I myself take for granted, such as safety, shelter and food.
I know that this is a fallen world, but I don’t know why certain people have to live with pain, or illness, or loneliness or shattered dreams.
But I do know some things for sure.
I know that Jesus knows how it feels to lose a friend. (John 11:35)
I know that when Jesus saw a widow grieving for her son, he raised him from the dead because he had compassion on her. (Luke 7:11-17)
I know that He is good, He is gracious, and He is sovereign. (e.g. Psalm 103).
I know when we come to him, the Lord promises a future without tears, or death, or pain. (Revelation 21:1-4)