why2Why?  We, as parents, hear this question all the time – sometimes too often.  Why can’t I walk on the ice?  Why are cats fluffy?  Why can’t I play outside by myself?  Why does it snow?  Why can’t I have another snack?  Why do I have to be nice to my sister?  Usually, we have an answer for most why’s – even if we make up parts we aren’t sure of!

But sometimes children ask poignant “why” questions that make our hearts ache.  Why did Joey move away?  Why did Prince have to die?  Why did my friend’s sister get sick?  Why was Sally mean to me today?  And with these questions, we realize something.  As much as we want to protect our children’s hearts and keep them from being broken, we can’t.  In the same way, we also don’t always have the answer to those big “why” questions because we are struggling with the answers ourselves. 

We ask God those same questions, but perhaps on a deeper level.  Why does life have to involve struggles?  Why doesn’t God just tell me what he wants me to do?  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why do people suffer?

On some deep theological level, we know the answers to these questions.  When sin was first brought into the world by Adam and Eve, humanity was separated from God.  We no longer walk with Him in the Garden of Eden; rather, we struggle on the rocky path through life.  Sin entering the world has brought with it disease, suffering, tragedy, injustice and death.  We are blessed through our salvation by Christ to know that this suffering is not eternal, but while we are on this earth, the consequences of sin are evident in the bad things that happen around us and to us.

So how do we answer these “why” questions for our children, as well as for ourselves?  The answer is in the Love Letter that God has written to each of us – the Bible.  “All things work for good for those who love God.” Romans 8:28.

why1The seemingly bad things in our lives, in our world, will always be worked for good in the hands of the Lord.  We may not understand the why right away, but perhaps years later, we can look back at a tragedy or trial and see how it shaped our lives and those of our family.  And with every sadness in our lives, God draws us ever closer to Him.  It is His love that is the “why.”  He wants to shower us with more graces and blessings.  He wants us to have a closer relationship with Him.

So when our children ask us those difficult “why” questions, we can tell our children that God has a plan for us.  He was holding us tight before our sadness even occurred and He pulls us even closer in His love with each tear that falls, all the time leading us the way that He wants us to go.

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