One day last week, my 13 year old son came down to log-in to his online video class wearing a full body corn costume and a Goofy hat.
I don’t know why.
I asked, but to be honest, I didn’t really get a clear answer.
I feel like that is me a lot of the time these days while I navigate this new world of raising a teenage boy. He does all sorts of things I don’t understand.
I ask my husband if it is normal. He assures me it is.
I have chosen to trust my husband.
There used to be a time when my son was the one asking the “why” question.
How many of you parents have had to field the question “Why?”. Why is the sky blue? Why are oranges called oranges? Why do I have to walk when we have a perfectly good car? Why do I have to eat that? Why don’t you buy me those new shoes – don’t you have a shiny card that has money attached to it?! Why not? Why, why, why?!
My favourite answer to that question was always: “Just to bug you. Is it working?”
My kids would shake their head and walk away.
These days we are all stuck at home wondering why:
Why did God allow the pandemic to happen in the first place?
Why would a loving God allow such terrible things to happen to his people?
Why did I lose my job?
Why did I lose my health?
Why did I lose my loved one?
It is normal to have these questions. Look back at the example of our kids who innately ask these questions from almost as young as they can talk. For us, as God’s kids, it is normal for us to have these questions too.
As I was thinking about this unprecedented time, I was reminded of the story of Joseph. He was someone who could have asked the question “why” a lot.
Think about it: this guy was sold into slavery by his brothers, was falsely accused; imprisoned; only to be forgotten about for years. Had I been in his shoes, I would be asking “why”.
As you read through his story, he stays true to what God had for him. In fact, when he faces his brothers years later, Joseph says to them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)
Joseph saw God’s hand in his story and he was confident that God had a plan for his life. As a result of Joseph’s faithful life, God saved many. Joseph held onto the promises of God.
The best part of this story is how the scriptures remind us numerous times that God was with Joseph. God was with him when he was sold into slavery, he was with him when he was falsely accused and imprisoned, God was with him when he was forgotten about.
God was with him.
So, to be honest, I don’t know why.
I don’t know why God has allowed COVID to enter into our world.
I don’t know why we are walking through the hardships that we are.
I do know that God is with us.
I do know that God is with me.
I do know that God is with you.
You might be trying to answer your kids questions, “why can’t I see my friends?”, “why can’t I go back to school?” “why are we always together?”. Or maybe you are trying to answer your own questions of why.
Take some time to look at the story of Joseph and be encouraged that even though you do not have the answers, you do have the access to the God who in his sovereignty is in control of all things. You have access to the God who will love you through all the hard days and will give you the strength that you need to get through them. You have access to the God who will always be with you. That is your encouragement today.
As a bonus, read the story of Joseph to your kids and talk about the trials he went through only for God to use them for his good!
As for me, my son will continue to come downstairs in a corn costume and Goofy hat and I will continue to never know why!