Not knowing, that’s the tough part.
I have heard of a few sad events in the last little while. A man missing at the river. A holiday tragedy in a beautiful place. These on top of the floods in Queensland and Victoria.
A question that comes to mind: How could it happen?
We were prepared. They knew that area. The information was clear. The road was well-known …
And so we wonder. With sadness.
A common response to not knowing, I believe, is to try and cover it by doing something.
It’s great to get in and help, to give money or goods, to cry out to the authorities. Yet there’s frequently an element of hiding from the unknown. Of declining to ask the question ‘Why?’ because we know the answer will be silence.
I’ve always been struck by the time God gave no answer to Jesus. It was Easter, and Jesus asked the $64 question. ‘Father, why did you go?’ (See verse 34.) There is an answer, of course. With no answer there’s no Christian faith.
But the answer was not then spoken. The Son trusts the Father. The Father loves the Son. And in their love, that was not the time for answers.
As for me, when these questions are rightly asked, I don’t know the answers. But because of the cross, I am not offended by people asking them. I definitely don’t want to start into pretend and small-scale answers-for-the-sake-of-saying-something. You know, ‘Perhaps the rocks were wet’, ‘maybe it was cramp’, ‘it’s all for the best’, etc.
Not knowing can be the hardest thing. The loving reply will often be the sympathy of sharing the problem, ‘Why? Why?’