Because I Said So...

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"For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." (Isa 55:9 NLT)

I was always an inquisitive kid. I felt a need to understand what was going on around me especially when it came to my parents saying no something I really wanted. Whenever they said “no,” my first question was always, “why?” Now the responses I got would differ depending on which parent I was talking to. With my mom, I would get a reason and meet it with another “why?” After the fourth or fifth time she seemed to get frustrated and she’d just say, “Because I said so.” That usually signified the end of the discussion. My dad however, being an old school African father, came right out of the box with “Because I said so,” so I learned that with him there wasn’t much discussion. It didn’t stop me from trying though. I guess I kind of liked arguing my case. So much so that at one point my parents were convinced I was going to be a lawyer… but I digress…

There are lots of things that happen that we don’t understand. We long for answers as to why this or why that, but it seems there are none to be found. As I type this post I find myself in the middle of one of those ‘why’ moments. Not long ago I got a call from my best friend, which is not unusual we talk several times a day. The minute I heard her voice though I knew something was very wrong. She could hardly get her words out. She managed to tell me I needed to get to another room and call her back. I raced to the nearest empty conference room and called her back so unprepared for what I was about to hear. Again she couldn’t get the words out through the tears and I made her stop and just breathe for a few minutes. When she was ready she gave me the news that her 13 year old nephew, whom I have known and loved since he was 2, passed away in his sleep last night. I don’t even remember what all I said to her after that – mostly I just listened. My heart broke when at the end of every sentence I heard her say, “I just don’t understand!” Truthfully, neither do I. There was really nothing I could say. We both know the same thing – that God is sovereign and in everything He has a plan, but in these times when things just don’t make sense and the answers just aren’t there – then what? The situation took me back to the day I received the news about losing my little sister (and my unborn niece or nephew) in a freak car accident several years ago. She left behind a grieving husband and a young daughter… None of it made sense. She was the youngest. She wasn’t supposed to go before us, before her parents… I wanted answers, but there were none.

As a kid, when my parents said no, eventually I had to accept their decision and trust them even if I didn’t understand. The same holds true for God – when things occur that I don’t understand, I’m eventually have to accept His decisions and continue to trust Him. It’s easier said than done, but over time it gets easier. For me, I shift my focus from what I don’t know and what I don’t understand to what I do know and understand. For example, I understand God’s ways and thoughts are higher than mine and that even if I don’t see it He has a plan. I know that God is good, that He’s working things out for my good, that He is faithful, and that He is for me. These are the things I hold on to as I ride through the storm; the things I will hold on to as I ride through this present storm.

That isn’t to say that I won’t have my moments of doubt, anger, and confusion, and honestly I don’t think God begrudges me those moments. He knows we are human, so I don’t believe He sees us as less “spiritual” when we have a moment. The thing is not to take up residence in that spot. I feel what I feel – yell, cry, whatever I need to do the afterward, my hope and trust in Him remains.

So, I’m really going to miss D. I’ve been having flashbacks of him all afternoon. He was such a good kid and a sweet soul. To be totally honest, I’m more that a little ticked at the situation right now, but God!

I wish I had answers or something more upbeat to end this post with… I’ll say this - if you are riding though a storm right now, go ahead and feel what you feel and then, when you’re ready, lean into God. Let Him comfort you like only He can. It’s what He does. It’s who He is. It’s the only way you’ll get through this…