When the Question Why Isn’t Important

Important scientific discoveries and life-saving medical advances are the result of answering “why.” It is an important question when driven by curiosity and the desire to know – to understand. But life doesn’t always give us the reason why things happen or don’t happen. That’s when it must take a back seat to something greater.

When our daughter Debbie was five, she had a small yellow skateboard, a simple version not to be confused with today’s skate boards. There were a few times I took it out of her bed because she fell asleep with it. We had a steep driveway that emptied into a busy street. My husband taught her how to sit on the board and steer it into the grass. He also drilled into her head why she had to stay out of the street. Debbie squealed with delight as she sped down the drive and tumbled onto the grass, only to jump up and do it again. Up and down, up and down.

I happened to look out the window on one of those fast trips down when the yellow skateboard got away from her. As fast as the board, Debbie was right behind it, headed straight for the busy street. My husband yelled, “Debbie! Stop!” Her sudden stop left her tottering at the edge of the drive, tears flying and little outstretched arms waving as she rocked back and forth on her tiptoes. In that same split second, there was only a glimpse of yellow as the board went under the car of a horrified driver who desperately slammed on his brakes.

She clearly understood why she shouldn’t go into the street. But! She loved that skateboard. She had absolutely no understanding at five what being hit by a car meant. It was important to trust her Dad. If she had questioned and not stopped, the ending to this story would be completely different. She was unharmed and so was the runaway skateboard that safely made it under the car to the other side.

How does that apply to everyday adult situations? Our driveways and busy streets are not so clearly defined. Perhaps we’re on a journey we believe with confidence that God has led us to take. Then the board gets away from us—maybe it’s a job loss, a sudden illness, a financial crisis. Something unexpected and we are confused. We don’t hear a voice calling our name and telling us what to do. We ask why in the silence.

The context in Ephesians 6:13 is spiritual warfare where there is a powerful principle that applies here. “Having done all, stand” (NKJV). When we have done what we know to do, and have no different direction from the Lord, we stand still – even if tottering on the edge – waiting with confidence that He will show us the next step. We stand in Who we know. It’s in that moment that trusting our Father God is more important than having an answer to why.