When We Must Give Up Having an Answer for Everything

Amy and I have two boys that are the joy of our lives. They keep us on our toes, but we wouldn’t trade them for anything. They are almost five years apart and between their births we suffered two miscarriages. Those times were devastating and we wrestled with the question, “Why?” And there were people who were willing to offer answers. They told us things like, “You know something must have been wrong with that baby.” Or “God needed that angel before you did.”

First of all, that’s just bad theology. Secondly, we didn’t find those answers comforting at all. In fact, they were kind of disturbing. Nothing against those that tried to answer our grief. They were very polite and well-meaning. They were just trying to help. And they thought the best way to help was to give us an answer as to why we were suffering. Because that is what we have been programmed to do.

Why? Because from the beginning, we have been wired to know the answer. When a child starts pre-kindergarten he or she is expected to know what color the crayon is when it is placed in front of them. As they get older they are expected to know the answer to multiplication facts and long division. And then the answer to history questions, science subjects, and matters of geography, social studies and government. In our culture, we are supposed to know how to fill in the blank.

But sometimes there is no answer. There are questions in life where the blank remains empty.

What are Amy and I supposed to say to our friends who lost their nineteen year old son and want to know why? How am I supposed to answer a couple struggling with infertility and wants to know why nothing is happening? What answer do I give to a family that has been praying for a prodigal for years with no return? How do we comfort those that are struggling with miscarriage like we did? With a pat answer we think will help?

Sometimes there is no answer. There are questions where the blank remains empty. When the best answer is, “I don’t know.” Can your faith handle that? Can you be content with not having the answer. Our programming tells us we must fill in the blank but if we knew all the answers would it really be called faith?

Check out the message in its entirety and let me know what you think.

Ryan Smallwood