The moment is crystal clear to me. I can remember as a little girl, laying on a blanket of fresh green grass in our front yard. I was looking up at the giant oak tree that stretched to the sky, and the thought hit me…”Where does the sky end? And where it ends, what is beyond that…where does it all end?” I don’t remember how old I was but I do know that the thought absolutely blew my mind… Even as a little girl, I knew there was no concrete answer that was within the reaches of people’s understanding, but I thought I wanted one.
As an adult, the thought can still baffle my mind, but I accept that there are some things about the scientific world that I will never come close to understanding. So why is it that I try to figure out so much else?
There are “whys” of life that will not be answered on this side of Heaven. This week has been full of them for me. For instance, why a sweet seven year old girl at my school succumbed to kidney disease on Monday and left behind grieving parents and a special needs sister who both adored and depended on her? That’s a why. And why my child is having to go through some very difficult things with no solution or answer in sight? Or why a friend is having a difficult time getting pregnant when she’d be an incredible mom. Or why my dear friend’s cancer is just not letting up? Or why… Well, why don’t I stop listing whys and get to the point?
We often try to explain away the whys. We answer questions when maybe there’s just no answer. We try to make sense of our world by filling the voids with explanations, but the words are often just euphemisms without substance. Like an untethered balloon that gives a child joy for a few moments and brings tears as it floats off into the unknown, these fillers are momentary pacifiers that don’t satisfy.
So here’s the thing. Some things are infinite. They are beyond definition, beyond comprehension, beyond the limits of my understanding. The same realization that I had as a little girl rings true for me as an adult: sometimes, there are just no answers. This is as true for the stuff of life as it is for the scientific questions. I believe that the more I accept them ‘as is’ without spending endless energy on trying to figure it all out, the greater the peace will be. I love Philippians 4:7. It says “the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” I especially love the ‘guard your hearts and minds’ part.
So today, when the grieving teachers and staff from my school attend the funeral of the precious seven year old who left this world too soon, I won’t have any answers or words. No reasons or comprehension. But there is beauty in the intangibles as well. Praying that the gathering of people who adored their little one will touch these parents with infinite peace, infinite love,infinite acceptance that the God who does understand all things is infinitely Present. He is here in the now and in the beyond and in everything in between. He knows all the answers to the unanswerable questions. Maybe a part of Faith is believing that that is enough.
Great is our Lord and abundant in power. His understanding is infinite.” Psalm 147:5
Photo Credit: Tanner Halbert