I’ve been praying for an unborn baby for months now. Saturday night, he was finally born. He died an hour later.
What can I say? What can I do?
I’m past all the usual questions…I quit needing answers to those several years ago, I think. I don’t need to know why God lets things like this happen, and I don’t doubt His goodness or His love in the midst of them. What He knows and sees is vastly more complete than what I see, and I trust His vision. His knowledge.
And yet…new questions have taken the place of the old ones. Questions that are far more specific. Questions that have to do with the part I played (and didn’t play) in these circumstances. Questions that might affect how I handle similar prayer requests in the future.
But after I spent a while in prayer this morning, I came to the conclusion that I want to know too much. I need to be more content with not knowing.
It’s fine to ask God questions. Even good, for that’s a valid part of conversation and fellowship and getting to know someone. But when the Someone I’m getting to know exists, thinks, moves, and works on a level light-years ahead of me, I absolutely must accept that sometimes His answer is going to be, “I can’t explain that to you.” Sort of like if I asked a Harvard professor to explain the theory of relativity or the law of thermodynamics. His inability to do so is caused by my limits, not his. And my inability to explain website coding to my 9-year old is because of her current level of knowledge and ability, not mine.
Honestly, though…if God answered all my questions, what would happen then? Would my mind be able to handle the influx of information? And if He made it capable of handling it, would I then lose my joy in living amidst the vast amounts of time necessary to consider all the implications of every decision I make, in light of a universe-worth of knowledge? Or suppose God gave me the ability to keep all those answers at my fingertips…would I still trust Him? Would it, perhaps, be even harder to trust Him?
Only God has no limits. Because we are not God, we do. We have to.
And perhaps that’s something we should be more grateful for. The limits that parents place around their toddlers keep them safe. The limits on what movies we parents let our kids watch are for their happiness. Even happier is the child who trusts his Father’s limits.
And that’s where I ended up today. Just asking the questions left me feeling exhausted…how much more worn out would I be if God dumped all the answers on me?
How much easier is it, actually, to simply trust? To leave the unknown in the very capable hands of my Lord. To know that He will tell me the steps I must take the next time I hear about another unborn baby under sentence of death, and I don’t have to figure it out in advance? I don’t have to know it all and find the right path for myself, or for someone else.
Perhaps this is why Proverbs…the book about wisdom and understanding, written mostly by the wisest man the world has ever known…says this: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Because gaining wisdom and knowledge increases our limits…limits that only God exists beyond.
I found a new song today, right about when I’d reached this point in the process my heart went through today. It’s another Hillsongs song.
I’m sure Joel Houston wasn’t thinking of babies dying or unanswered questions when he wrote it. But somehow, it was exactly what I needed today…a song about God’s greatness and power, and the only response we can offer that really makes any sense.
So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart, O God
Completely to You
So I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
So I’ll stand
My soul, Lord, to You surrendered
All I am is Yours
For today’s Multitude Monday, I am thankful for:
282. A God who lives outside my limits
283. The marvel of surrender and abandonment
284. Proverbs 9:10
286. This song
287. YouTube (::grins::)
288. The miracle of birth
289. Knowing that God holds and loves and welcomes each of the thousands of babies
who die each day more than even the most beloved of them could ever be on earth.