The biggest question regarding my faith in Jesus that people ask is why He allows bad things to happen to good people. Why God doesn't just wave His hand and stop all the pain, all the hardships, all the questions. Why He doesn't just show up and make it better all at once.
I've heard this question answered a dozen different ways. Everything from pointing to the depravity of man, to the judgment of God, to the fall of humankind, to our own free will and our own decisions. I see the weight of those arguments and I'm not discrediting those at all. But I think we overcomplicate the answer.
To me it's simple...
I've faced a lot of darkness in my life. I've asked that daunting question over and over. I've always known the truth. I know that there's a God, I know that He says He's a good God, but I'd be lying if I said I always believed that. That's what the hard part of life is supposed to do. I really think God delights in the questions. I think that's why those waves, those woods, those really, desperately hard things that we may never truly understand happen.
...He gets to prove Himself. He gets to answer it with the truth of His peace that surpasses anything we can explain.
When my life was falling apart for what seemed like the millionth time; when we had been invaded with rats and had to move, when I was just beginning to process the idea that my daughter had a terminal illness, when we were still picking up the Sandbox pieces, I had a breaking point. I came out of our bedroom with a t-shirt that had become a new home for our furry enemies. With tears streaming down my face, I told Micah I was going to run. I had to leave and I was going to run until I couldn't run anymore. So I did. I escaped to the trail behind our gym. I ran until my body was drained of any strength I had left. I sat on a park bench and screamed at my Creator. "I have nothing left! Nothing!"
I was right where I needed to be.
"You need nothing else. I'm it."
So go ahead... ask the questions. Scream and cry and get angry. You're allowed. You're supposed to. Let God prove His goodness. Give Him the pieces to pick up. It's just not your job.
I thought my puzzle would look different. Maybe you thought yours would, too. Mine's got jagged edges and a doozy of a dent right in the middle. I've tried over and over to put it together myself. I want to see what piece is coming next so I'm not surprised by that one that's still in the box. Then I remember that timing is everything. That God's hiding that piece for a reason and that my puzzle isn't mine at all.
There will come a time that I won't want to know what piece is next. There's gonna be a time when my trust is without borders, when my soul is at rest and the oceans will be welcomed. I'm not there yet. I still hold on to the things that I haven't even been promised in the first place. I still think I can pick up my own pieces, but that's when Jesus gets to prove otherwise. And, for now, that's enough.