For today’s Tuesday’s Trials Series, I want to focus on the ever pressing question “Why?”. Our son is currently in the infamous “Why?” phase, which leaves me explaining and explaining until one of two things happen, either I don’t know the answer or I realize the answer is beyond his comprehension. Much like my son’s current phase, I spent much of this journey asking God the very same question. Hands down, “Why?” is the question I have asked most as we have gone through this. Why are we not able to get pregnant? Why do I have this disease? Why are they pregnant and not us? Why did I need to have a hysterectomy? Why did the first potential birthmother choose to parent? “Why, why, why…?”
In reading through the bible, I know that I am in good company with my quest for answers about this road I am on. In Psalm 73, Asaph searches for why the wicked prosper and are free from “common human burdens” (verse 5). Verses 13-14 state, “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been afflicted and every morning brings new punishments.” It’s the 16th verse that really hits it home for me. “When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply…”
I have spent a lot of my life trying to understand this path as an infertile adoptive family and it has troubled me deeply as well. Why do so many wicked people continue to reproduce child after child? Why, when I have tried to live a Godly life, have I been afflicted with infertility?
I think there is a component of entitlement at work when we spend time asking for God to justify the pain we are experiencing. But, I also think it is partly human nature. We feel pain, we seek out an expert to diagnose it and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel when there is a plan in place to end the suffering. God, “What is the reason for this sorrow? How are you going to fix it? And, what will my life look like when you are done?”
If I could have only had those answers, it would have made this journey so much more bearable. I remember after we brought home our son saying several times, if I had known that he was waiting for us in the end, I would have endured twice as much pain. Of course, I probably would not have learned as much as I have had I not experienced the depth of struggles that we did. In those lessons, I think a lot of my answers to “Why?” lay.
Although my trials pale markedly to that of Job, in some of my times of self-pity I have found solace in reading his book. I will never forget the degree of conviction I felt reading chapters 38-41. I am so small in the grand purpose of God that who am I to demand an answer from Him?
In chapter 42:2-3 Job replies,
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of your can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”
Much like my son’s questions that wander into territory too intricate for him to understand are our questions for God. The answers are too complex for our human understanding. Our job is not to understand why. God owes us no answers. Our responsibility is to have faith and rely on God’s promises. Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose.”
Our minds are too limited, but our faith need not be. So, the next time you are on a quest for answers, pause and realize God may not be able to provide the answer. Have faith and remember “God works for the good of those who love him…” Sometimes, that is the only answer, but also the best.