How To Answer Hard Questions

Recently, I was driving in the car with my daughter, and we were listening to King Of My Heart by John Mark McMillan. This song has a set of lyrics that say, “You’re never gonna let, never gonna let me down - you are good!” As those lyrics came on, my daughter turned to me and said, “Daddy, is God ever going to let us down?”

I immediately realized how important the answer to that question was going to be for her. I quickly made up a story, and began to tell it to her. “Brooklyn, daddy has a friend who is really, really sick. He takes drugs, he’s not very healthy, and he’s not doing too well. I want to help him a lot, but sometimes, the more I try to help him, the more he stays away. My friend works really hard to stay away from me. Am I letting him down even though I’m trying to help him? Or is he avoiding my help by staying away from me?” She thought about it for a moment, and then came to the conclusion that it wasn’t my fault if he was hiding from me. I then told her, “You know, sometimes he blames me. He tells me that I’m failing him, that I’m letting him down. He tells me that I don’t help him, that I don’t actually care about his problems or love him. The truth is, he is avoiding help. A lot of times, it’s the same way with Jesus. We think that Jesus isn’t coming through for us, but in reality, we’re avoiding Him.”

Similarly, we might not see his help because we expect it to come a certain way. It reminds me of the story of the man who fell into the ocean. He fell in and began to cry out to God to help him. A boat pulled up and offered to rescue him, but he refused the help because he was “waiting for God.” The boat drives away and he continues to cry out for God to come save him. A few minutes later, a helicopter flies over and drops down a ladder to help him. He refused to climb up the ladder because he was expecting God, not a helicopter. The man drowned. He got to heaven and yelled at God, “You didn’t come through! You let me down!” God said, “Wait a minute! Did I not send you a boat? Did you not see the helicopter?” We sometimes think that God has let us down, but really he just came through in a way that we weren’t expecting.

When we wisely answer questions like this, we start to build a foundation in our children that many people don't have. She now has other options when things don't go right. She won't automatically think "He let us down." These other options will help her have the right perspective, and it will now be hard for my daughter to miss God when He’s trying to help her. Questions like these can be tricky; they seem to come at the weirdest moments. I pray that God would give every parent reading this wisdom to answer tough questions, so that your kids will be able to grow up with God’s perspective.