Years ago, Cay and I were asked to speak to a group of parents, all who were dealing with the death of a child. About a dozen couples met at a small camp near Philadelphia. We shared our story and how God was helping us on the journey. Over meals and during breaks, many of the parents shared their heartbreaking stories as well.
An older couple’s son, a police office, had been killed in the line of duty. A one-year-old died when an airbag deployed. Stories of car accidents, suicides, and cancer filled the weekend. It was a very disturbing and draining three days.
One evening we talked to a dad whose 11-year-old son had been playing with his friend next door. They had discovered his friend’s dad’s handgun and while examining it the gun discharged, killing his son.
He described the ensuing months of shock, despair, and angry questions directed toward God. How could You allow this to happen? Why didn’t You intervene? What have I done to deserve this? He went on to tell about one summer’s night about a year after his son’s tragic death. He was outside, alone with his painful thoughts. Looking to the stars he restated his questions and poured out his anguished heart to heaven. In that moment, a life-changing reality swept through his troubled mind. He realized, You would not be much of a God if I could understand what you are doing!
That distraught father’s life pivoted on this one profound reality.
Our inability to comprehend the depths of life’s events does not diminish God’s love and power. Just because we are unable to understand God’s design does not mean He does not have one. Just because He does not act in the ways we think best does not mean He does not exist.
Isaiah said it this way: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)
My friend, Steve Brown, recorded an album in the early 1970’s. One of the songs, Reasons, was written by Wayne Rice. It was read at Catie’s graveside service.
I often wonder why the world must be
A victim of such pain and misery
We live beneath the dismal cast of fear
And die beneath the hopeless weight of tears
Reasons now are hidden in the fullness of God’s plan
There are secrets that are kept from you and I
And the answers we are seeking we may never understand
But I know some day I’m gonna ask Him why
So when I hear the cry of bitter man
It seems that I will never understand
But faith demands the test of mystery
So ready and with patience I will be
I surmise that when we meet Jesus, the why questions of this world will seem rather irrelevant. But this side of eternity, I cling to the hope that even though His ways are not my ways – someday I’m gonna ask Him why.