Rinse and repeat.
Such is the love language between a child and parent.
"Why does an elephant have a nose like that?"
"How come I float?"
"What's taking so long?"
After about the sixth repeat, we do tend to growl. It's annoying, sure. But look deeper. Something very special is going on.
Have you ever noticed that the one being asked is almost always a trusted care giver? Dad, Mom, big sis or brother, nanny, teacher. When little people really want to know or understand, they ask someone they trust. They want a real answer.
Yes, it gets more and more tricky to come up with something besides "God made it that way" or "Pretty soon." But with each question, our little ones tell us that they are looking to us for the truth. That's why they don't ask the big kid down the street or the city bus driver.
Grown-ups are no different. Think about it. When we ask an honest question, we want an honest answer.
Especially when it's an important question. Which job do you think I should take? why is she so mad at me? can I afford that house? do you love me?
For things most important, we want the truth. And, we ask some doozies:
- Who am I?
- Why am I here?
- What's wrong with the world?
- What can make it right?
Thankfully, we know who we can ask. Someone we can trust. Someone who never changes, and whose answers have been and will remain constant.
We ask God. And He says:
- You are the crowning glory of My creation. You were skillfully and wonderfully made in My image. You are a treasured child of God.
- You are here to do good and glorify Me.
- You are to blame for what's wrong in the world. You all are. You've listened to the voice of the Deceiver. You've chased after the lies of health and wealth and having it all.
- I can make it right. When it's lost, I will find it. When you can't do it anymore, I'll be there.
We never had the answers. And, we were probably never meant to.
But, we can be absolutely confident. Even when everything around us is in chaos and the world - our world - seems to just spin out of control, our hope is not gone. His answers are true.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lived during the Civil War, when the future of the country looked bleak. He suffered great personal loss when his wife died of burns she sustained when her dress caught fire. Longfellow could not even attend her funeral because he, too, was severely burned trying to save her. And, just that following year, his son ran away to fight in the war, only to return home after being badly wounded, almost paralyzed.
But as a strong man of God, the desire of his heart was to find the peace that only God can give. During the Christmas season of 1863, Longfellow wrote these words that, when set to music, became a glorious and promising carol:
I heard the bells on Christmas day,
Their old familiar carols play.
And mild and sweet their songs repeat of peace on earth, good will to men
And in despair I bowed my head.
"There is no peace on earth," I said.
“For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.”
Then rang the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor does He sleep.
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth, good will to men.”
Even in his grief, Longfellow knew that God really was the answer.
No matter how big a loss we experience or how big a mess we create, God can overcome. It's true.
How has God answered your questions? How has He rescued you?