When I was pregnant with my first son, I read every baby book I could find. I found out what to expect when expecting and what to expect the first year. I tried to learn how to be baby wise and how to make my own foods and when to pump and when to let them cry and when to hold them tight and how to shepherd their hearts and give them grace.
One thing I remember sticking out for me was communication. Making sure I explained the ins and outs, the whys and why nots, so they would know and understand not just the world outside, but the world inside their hearts as well. I remember thinking this was so great and exactly how I wanted to parent, until I had a three year old little boy who followed each answer to one of his 'whys' with another why, until I finally reached the point every parent reaches at some time or another and came back with "Because I said so".
I had another experience with 'because' a few weeks before the 1 year anniversary of our bomb. I struggled with whether to share this or not, because the other half of this situation's story is not mine to tell, but I'm sure if it's not ok I'll have friends who will let me know so here we go.
The process of dealing with the other person in the relationship is a long road all on it's own, full of many of the same difficulties, lots of different ones. I was able to sit down with her to ask some questions, have a face to face conversation, and, for me, be able to finally let go of that past. To do that I asked the question that had been lingering in my mind for almost 11 months, the only question I really cared to have answered: Why? Through her own journey, and mining of her heart, her answer, more or less, was, 'because'.
Because is a word that is both explanatory and exasperating, full of peace and resolve, or full of question and frustration.
A couple days ago when I had one of those days, Zach texted me a verse and a question. The verse was Romans 5:3..."suffering that produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character, hope." The (rhetorical) question was "Why can't we just get hope first? Why the process?" This, of course made me think, like all things do, and at the end of the trail I came to one word. Because.
'Because', even if we don't understand it, sometimes there is no other answer than God is the creator and author of the universe. Because He can work all things together for good. Because He knows the whole story and we are only privy to a small part. Because He said so.
The good news is our faith in Him lets us live in His 'because'. Faith is where we our journey starts.
The earlier part of Romans 5 says since (because) we have been justified in faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have obtained access through faith into grace and rejoice in the HOPE of glory.
A favorite author of Zach and mine wrote this.
'You have been given questions to which you cannot be given answers. You will have to live them out-perhaps a little at a time.' 'And how long is that going to take?' 'I don't know. As long as you live, perhaps' 'That could be a long time' 'I will tell you a further mystery.' he said. 'It may take longer.'
~Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
Our eternal lives in Christ, our lives in communion with the Father, start with faith. Faith started it all, and led to rejoicing in all things, including sufferings which lead to perseverance, which leads to character, which leads to Hope.
Hope is where it ends, Hope is where we cling.