A few weeks ago, I needed to pick up a few things from the local crafting store and my son came along for the adventure. I reminded him before we went into the store to keep his hands to himself and that this would be a quick trip – in and out. Most of the time he is a dream to shop with, but this wasn’t going to be one of those days. We were just about to head for the check out with our last few items, when racks of large letters caught his eye. He has learned all the letters and seeing the display was a big deal for him. He said, “Mom, look there is the letter Y!” And in that moment he reached out for that letter and discovered it was much heavier then he thought. It slipped out of his hand and when it hit the floor it broke in half. Both of us looked at each other knowing that what had just happened wasn’t good. I quickly scooped up the broken letter and told him that we would have to pay for it.
When we got to the register I shared that we had a little accident and wanted to pay for our broken “Y.” To be honest, I was half hoping the cashier would have said, “Oh that’s okay, but thank you for telling us.” I didn’t need a broken $10.00 letter Y. I was thinking, “Why couldn’t Colton have broken a letter C?” I could have hung it in his room and given him a hard time about it the rest of his life. The cashier failing to read my mind proceeded to ring up my broken letter. She then had the nerve to ask me, “Do you want us to just keep this?” Was she kidding? I just spent my hard earned money on that “Y” and it was coming home with us. On our drive home I got ticked with myself – what in the world was I going to do with a broken Y?
As with most things like this, I thought, there is a message for me in this chain of events. The first that came to my mind was feeling broken in the “whys” of life. God has shown me over and over that His plan for me is a good one. (Jer. 29:11) He doesn’t always answer all the questions. I may never know this side of heaven why painful things happen to me and to those I love so dearly.
Sometimes waiting to get answers has left me stuck and stagnant – not really living. Letting go of some of life’s painful why’s is a hard thing to do. We want to know that those events weren’t wasted. It may have been a family member’s abuse, a father who wasn’t present, a little girl taken away by cancer, any number of things leaving us wanting, no, demanding answers. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see obscurely in a mirror, but then it will be face to face. Now I know partly; then I will know fully, just as God has fully known me.”
The best we can do is give God our broken whys.