And while some of those questions I dread hearing, I know it’s good that they ask us – hopefully, it means they know we’re safe, that we’ll tell the truth, and that we won’t judge them for asking.
Because the hard questions are the place where the rubber meets the road and the crap hits the fan. They’re the place where you’re working things out that can change your perspective or even your life.
The hard questions are the ones that keep you up at night, make you mad, and that shake your faith to pieces or cement it into a foundation that won’t crack under any amount of pressure.
They’re the ones that I want my children to ask ME instead of someone else, but that I never really feel qualified to answer. Too often I want to tag out, brush it aside or speak a cliché.
But when my baby looks me in the eyes, and I can see her white-knuckled grip on a hope that is getting battered by circumstances, I can’t tag out. I have to be honest.
“Mom, if God really loves us, why does He let these bad things happen?”
I pause. I breathe. I look at her angry face, in the quiet room filled with signs of a vanishing childhood and an emerging young woman. And I have to be honest.
“That’s a good question. And it’s a hard one. I could tell you it’s a sin problem. I could tell you it’s a free will problem. But the truth is, I can’t really answer for you, because I don’t know all the answers.
But I can tell you the things I do know.
I know God loves us. I know He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to die for us if He didn’t. I know that’s true because I’m just an ordinary human, and I love my child so much that I would NEVER send you to die for someone I didn’t love JUST AS MUCH.
I know God is good. All the time. And even when circumstances are the opposite of good, His goodness is something we can hold on to, it’s something that doesn’t change.
And I know it’s ok to ask God why. It’s ok to say to Him, ‘God, this sucks.’ It’s ok to cry and call out and tell Him where it hurts.
Actually, it’s better if you DO call out. If you DO keep talking to Him. Don’t shut Him out of your doubt. Don’t shut Him out of your pain. Don’t shut Him out of your whys and how comes, your uncertainty or fear.
Because I know, without any drop of doubt, that as bad as things get, God is living through it with you.He’s with you every step of the way. He’s gasping and groaning and hurting right along with you and for you. Because He’s promised not to leave you alone.
Because He’s good. And because He loves you.
So I don’t know why. I don’t. But I know Who.
And sometimes, when you’re in that place where you don’t understand why, where you don’t see how or when, all you can hold onto is Who.”
Sandra Samoska is a writer with a love for Jesus and a love for family. When she's not chasing around her four kids and doing all the things, you can find her writing about the ways God shows up in our every day lives.