Planning. Organizing. Knowing what is to come. I rely on all of these to remain sane. As someone who grew up with an abnormal amount of anxiety, I can attest to the fear and frustration that can come from feeling lost in chaos. I'm also a realist and I know these three things are not always possible. Deadlines change, limited time prohibits organization and very rarely can I know one hundred percent what is to come.
To combat uncertainty as a child, I would ask a multitude of questions: "When will we get there?", "What are we doing tomorrow?", "What if I feel sick at school? Will I be able to go home?" and "What if my parents don't pick me up and someone else takes me to their house and now I'm in a different family and my parents don't know where I am and… and…?". These questions were my attempt to obtain knowledge of what was to come and to feel safe.
While your questions might not have been as irrational as some of mine, I know you asked similar questions when you were a child. As humans, we have an inherent curiosity that begs to be fed. This search for understanding is of course not reserved for our childhood, nor is it limited to natural things. We begin to question the supernatural and I've found, of all the questions I ask of God, the most frequent is "Why?"
Yes, I ask "when", "how" and "who" quite often but most of my questions still center around "why". Questions like, "Why has this not happened?", "Why is God waiting to answer this prayer?", "Why will this person not come along beside me and support me?", "Why do I feel so unimportant and overlooked?" have been common in my walk with Christ at times and I imagine I'm not alone. We all deal with "why".
As Christians, we know the Lord is in control of all and, in times of triumph and sorrow, He remains constant. So, why do we ask "why"? I believe one of the reasons we ask God "why" so often is because we are uncertain of what is to come. We fear what might be around the corner and we want to be in control. After all, when we are in control, we believe we are able to choose when, where and how life happens.
I haven't found many times where God flat out explained why He was going to do what He was going to do but one such instance was with the Israelites regarding their journey into the Promised Land. In Chapter 23: 28-30
of the book of Exodus (the account of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery) we find a time where God provided the "Why":
I will send terror ahead of you to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals would multiply and threaten you. I will drive them out a little at a time until your population has increased enough to take possession of the land. (emphasis mine)
In this portion of the chapter, God was explaining to the Israelites He would be with them as they advanced into the Promised Land. I'm not sure if God was trying to stave off more whining from the Israelites or if He was just being verbose in His wisdom but He chose to give them a reason why!
Let's stop and think about this. Would God's reasoning for not driving the current inhabitants of the Promised Land out in a single year change, or be less valid, had He not explained it? Of course not! God is omniscient (a fancy word that means He knows everything) and, as such, He is infinitely better at planning and providing—He knows what is to come! It stands to reason then, even when we don't know why things are the way they are—why God allows certain things to be the way they are—God still remains in control and is the most capable to provide for us.
It's easy for us to feel fear in uncertain times. Maybe your job is to be dissolved soon and you're unsure how you are going to be able to provide for your family. Or maybe you've started a business and it isn't growing as much as you expected. Maybe your family is growing and you have no idea how you are going to be able to afford another mouth to feed. Regardless of our circumstances, we can be certain God has everything under control—even when He doesn't reveal the "why".
As you go throughout your day, catch yourself each time you begin to ask "why" of God. Determine if you are doing so because you are truly seeking wisdom or if you are questioning God's ways. In everything you do, if you work at it for the Lord, He will
provide (Colossians 3:23-24
). Allow yourself to be content with God's timing and provisions. After all, God's perfect "why" is still there even when it's not made known to us.