My youngest son considers himself quite the comedian, quite often his amused audience consists of one person… himself! Although that doesn’t seem to hinder his enthusiasm in any way. His method of entertainment often comes in the form of mild torture and the reaction it achieves. Now, without making him sound all dark and demonised, because he is actually a very bright light in the world, what I mean, as we might say in Northern Ireland, he loves the banter, winding up! It’s all light hearted and fun, well, most of the time. Sometimes he will push it too far, but is usually wise enough to know when he has reached his limit and will loveingly redeem with adequate affection. You know the type, a class clown really, and if I’m honest an apple that didn’t fall too far from the tree. Like he had to get it from somewhere, right!
He recently got a phone, well actually he has had a phone for probably a year now, what he has got now is a friends contact list and WhatsApp. Now he has turned into a bit of a spammer. I roll my eyes at his amusement as he is kicked off another group chat.
Sadly, for his brothers and me, we can not so easily dismiss his playful torture.
A few day ago his pestilence came in the form of why, why, why, why, why, why.
This I can except from a curious toddler, but from an annoying preteen my patience wore a little thin. Mostly because I believed I could out play him at his own game by giving him a suitable answer for each of his why. I’d love to say my reason for this was love, to show him that he mattered, that he was heard, his questions were important to me but, honestly, I just wanted to beat the nuisance outta him.
My patience wore way too quickly and, on about the fifth why, I caved and with a louder, more forceful voice said, “because Mummy said so, now away on and give my head peace.“
He had won, he had the victory! With a playful giggle and a knowing smile, he said, “alright Mum, calm down, I was only asking.” He skipped off in victory, probably to pick his next victim. I shook my head in defeat knowing he had got me, but mostly relieved to have peace and to get back to what I was doing. He’d be a hard kid not to love with his playful nature.
Today, as he corrected my stupidity for sending an emoji of an American football instead of a rugby ball, more of his playful banter. I thought back to the why episode, and my thoughts led me to thinking about God and the different, far more serious whys I have asked him over the years. Then an even bigger thought rose in my mind about all the whys I hadn’t ask him, and why I didn’t ask them.
It got me thinking about this nature that when we become adults we suddenly stop asking why, or how for that matter. It’s like, given our years on planet earth, we should have accumulated all the wisdom and knowledge that we will ever need and we no longer need to ask why or how. It can’t be true or we would all be millionaire geniuses.
But for some reason our culture has taught us that there is a certain amount of shame found in not knowing. Well I think culture is a liar, there is no shame in not knowing. In fact, the only way to grow in wisdom and knowledge is by not knowing and asking why or how.
Personally, I don’t think I ask it enough to God… mostly probably because of this false belief that you can only go to God with the big stuff. It’s not true, but somewhere deep down in my soul resides the false narritive that God is too big to be bothered with my smaller stuff.
If my kids only came to me with the big stuff we wouldn’t have much of a relationship. Mum, I’m really sick, I need to go to the hospital. Mum, I have no money, I need you to pay, Mum, I got in trouble, I need you to fix it. I would want to know how that they were sick, where their money went and what excatly was the cause of their trouble. This would involve a lot more communication than one request at a time.
The same goes for our relationship with our Father God, but the difference being he has all the answers, all the solutions to all our questions, and his patience is not going to wear thin like mine did to all my boy’s whys.
But, even better than God asking us why, we can ask him why and not just the big things, like why does that baby have cancer, and why doesn’t God just wipe out all the baddies, and why did I not get my dream job?
“You can be sure of this: The Lord set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him.”
Psalms 4:3 NLT
We have access to God 24/7 and, I can promise you, there is no why or how too big or small for God. Why am I in such bad mood? Why did I react so badly to that situation? Why does this situation break my heart so badly? Why can’t I stop thinking about this person? Why do I struggle to concentrate when reading? Why do I feel so silly when I pray aloud? Why do I feel so guilty? Why can’t I let go of this shame? Why do I struggle to like this person? Why do I need to go to church if you’re in my house? Why do so many people journal yet I find it boring? Why do I feel like I have no purpose when I’m a Christian and meant to be filled with purpose? … this lists goes on and on!
So you may think, ha ha, good one, that’s all well and good for those who hear and know God’s voice, but I don’t. But knowing and recognising God is built through communication of the whys to God and the whys from God.
You start asking questions, and I’m certain, if the answers don’t come from an audible God’s voice, they will coming in another form, in a dream perhaps, in a knowing in your heart and a random conversation, through a podcast in a song, READING GOD’S WORD.
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
Hebrews 4:12 NLT
God is so desperate for an intimate relationship with us that he will answer your questions and he will do that in many different ways, it is up to us to have the open heart to receive his answers and acknowledge that when they come it was God. The more we acknowledge God, the more we build our relationship, and so on and so forth.
Today I want to encourage you to take your whys, your not knowing, to God and have an expectant heart, ready to receive a reply. Be open and expectant and then acknowledge in the, “I know that was you God,” and build on that two way relationship and grow your understanding of God’s nature and heart for you.
“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.”
1 John 5:14 NLT