This post was originally published on February 6, 2006.
My children love to ask me probing questions about God.
“Was God born?” they ask.
“No,” I explain. “God has always been there. He didn’t have a beginning.”
Or, “How did God make the world?”
“Well,” I explain, “He simply said He wanted it to be, and it was.”
“But how did He do that?” my questioner asks. And I’m reduced to the sentence that always concludes these precious times: “I don’t completely understand. But God tells us it is true in the Bible, and I just trust Him.”
And my little questioner, satisfied by this, rolls over and drifts easily off to sleep.
I just trust Him. How dependent I’ve become, I realize, on my bite-sized definitions of who He is. Words like "sovereign", or "glorious", or "omnipotent" appear in my prayers. Concepts like irresistible grace, sanctification, and election divide my theology into neat categories. I love to digest complicated issues of my faith and try to understand a little better the One I follow. My desire to share this with my children leads me to “boil it down” to their level of comprehension. My four year old asks, “Why did God make sharks if they’re scary?” And my long, jumbled attempt at explaining a fallen world or all things working together for good finally lands me right back where it always does: “I just trust Him.”
This is the truth, I realize, of Mark 9:15: I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. When all is said and done, I stand before God just as my little children do, entirely dependent on the simplest of answers I share with them. They come to me with questions, and I tell them “Because He said so.” I go to Him with questions, and He answers, “I Am Who I Am.”
Motherhood has taught me not only how little I know, but also how little I need to know. I may wrestle with the doctrine of free will vs. predestination as much as they wrestle with how God made pine cones, but ultimately, we rest in the mystery of His truth, if we are to rest at all.