The other day I was enjoying morning breakfast w/ my family, but especially w/ my son Gabriel. My son and I speak often of God, Jesus, church, the world around us, and of course all the stuff in between. If there is one thing I love about my son, it is how his mind works and that he is always thinking about something…even if it appears by his crazy behavior there is nothing going on upstairs.
I have always encouraged my kids to be questioners, to ask “why”, to look for answers. This is not always easy as a parent because of course they ask, probe, and question you ultimately…of course always done so with respect (…yea right…)
Before I move on and talk about his question I think there is a good point to be made here about faith. Some live under a fear that it is wrong or unacceptable for us to question God…not so much His authority, but more so to ask “why” things are a certain way or happen the way they do. Some would have us believe that if we question it indicates doubt. However, I disagree. I believe that God has created us in His image and because of that we are naturally inclined to be questioners and seekers of the truth. Some of the deepest areas of my faith development stem from asking questions. By doing so, and many times no one having the answers, it propelled me to dig deeper, and deeper…and you guessed it deeper.
Back to breakfast.
So, here were my sons question(s) for the morning:
Why did God create Lucifer when He knew he would rebel?
Why did God create Adam and Eve when He knew they would sin?
(It’s ok for us to admit we have the same questions…)
Of course, it was fairly early and I was still waiting for the coffee to kick in…so I can say my response was slow at best. However, I think there are a few things to point out as a parent and as people in general, that we can all be reminded off, which were my answers to my son.
Here we go:
1.) We are not God…
God has the ability to understand, foresee, plan, love, etc. in ways that are beyond us.
God is infinite, I am finite.
God is sovereign, I am subject.
God is for the glory of Himself, I am created for His glory
2.) God loves us…
Because of God’s choice to love, show mercy & grace, & provide faith to believe in Him we escape the consequence of sin. In an amazing way God can conquer and overcome our rebellion by providing resolution/ rescue by offering Himself in our place.
3.) Angels are not humans…
God created angels as heavenly host servant beings. He did not create them like man. Man was created in the image of God, being God’s most prized/ elevated creation. Man can repent and experience restoration, angels can not. Also, angels do not become humans and mankind does not become angels (even though popular modern day spiritual thinking would like to think so)
4.) Evil existed pre-mankind…
The rebellion of Lucifer (and his followers) occurred before the fall/ sin of Adam and Eve. There is debate of wether or not evil and sin can be equated as the same, especially dealing w/ angelic beings vs. the human race. What we know is that the evil of angels was not what contaminated the human race. Adam and Eve’s choice to disobey God is what set sin into motion. Obviously, the evil and rebelliousness of Satan is what offered the temptation to Eve in the Garden of Eden, but evil/ temptation in itself does not equate to sin. Evil temptation acted upon is what is ungodly.
5.) (possibly the most important) I don’t know…but I TRUST…
That’s right, you read correctly…”I don’t know” was one of my answers to my son. It’s ok for him to realize and understand that even his father (me) is not Jesus, has sin, and yes…is limited. After giving all of the above partial answers, ultimately I had to tell him the truth, that is I don’t completely understand all the ways, ins and outs, complete mind of God. I hope to ask God many questions when I meet Him face to face, however I am guessing a lot of my questions may not matter then, we shall see.
It is important for our kids to know that we can trust what do not fully understand.
You may find the urge to argue with that truth, however if you will pause and be humble for a moment, much of the natural/ scientific/ engineering realm you do not understand. No man understands to the fullest every subject matter. If I can admit this about the created order then I can most definitely do so with the heavenly order.
I want my son to know and see that his dad trust Jesus, because He has never failed Him and never fail. I do not want him to believe in Jesus/ God because he can answer all the questions.
We run a grave danger of missing our creator when our limitedness trumps His limitless…and mystery.
Until his next question, we will love Jesus, talk often about Him, follow Him and trust that He is in control even when we can’t understand.