The other night we were doing a devotion in her Brave Girls book and it led to further conversation on various topics. She wound up asking, "Why did God make hell anyway? And why didn't He just make everyone born Christians?" I was a little stunned. This isn't where our conversation was supposed to go. But out of my mouth, almost like a reflex, came the "Christian-ese" answer.
"Well, God didn't make hell for people. He made it for the devil and his demons. And people aren't born Christians because God gives us a free will, wanting us to choose Him." It sounded good, but she didn't seem overly satisfied. And to be honest, I wasn't either. I found myself wondering if I truly believed the cliché answers I spouted off. And I felt discouraged that my faith wasn't stronger deep down, no matter how solid my front appeared.
A couple nights later as I was putting the girls to bed, Eden told me that the night before she had prayed something specific. It was small and trivial (but not to her) and she said she had made "20 pinky promises" with God that it would happen. It didn't. She wanted to know why. Once again, I explained to her the truths I've come to believe over 20 plus years of serving the Lord... "God knows what's best for us, Sweetheart, and sometimes it's not what we think. It's kind of like when you ask Mommy or Daddy for something and we tell you 'no.'" She started to cry. I could tell this shattered everything she thought she knew about God, which perhaps is good, but it broke me too to see her struggle.
|girls at "Construction City" VBS this week|
The next day we were riding in the car discussing something a little less spiritual -- the influx of mosquitos that have invaded our yard and home, and once again the girls asked, "Why did God make mosquitoes anyway?" Before I could get out my boxed answer of "frog food," Eden stepped up her game. "Why did He make OUR blood their food?!" With that, I was done. I was all out of ready-made answers and had to tell the girls I just didn't know. Here is the *one* thing I knew I could tell them for sure.
"Girls, God is GOOD. We don't always know why He does the things He does, but we can trust Him." As if God was giving us a personal confirmation right then and there, the song "Good, Good Father" by Chris Tomlin was on the radio, so I turned up the volume and sat in silence. I had nothing else to add to the conversation, but I prayed God would use the words of that song to speak peace and assurance over my little girls' hearts and help them believe what they can't always see.
It's difficult as a mom to not have all the answers for your kids, especially when you want so badly to train them to love and fear the Lord. But the truth is, God is incomprehensible and faith is sometimes rocky. It often comes through doubts and trials. I have to come to terms with that and leave their seeking hearts in the Lord's hands. After all, I want them to develop their own tried and truth faiths, not become puppets for boxed answers that one day disintegrate with doubts. If the Lord is true and good and faithful (and I know HE IS because He has proven it to me!), then He will prove Himself over time in their own lives, and in a sense, I can sit back and watch it happen.