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Because I Said So

I hated it when she said it. “Because I said so,” in response to my asking of “why?” was infuriating as a kid. Sure, sometimes I asked “why?” because I was playing a game, but sometimes I really wanted to know why. Why do I have to put my clothes away? Why do I have to come inside? Why do I have to stop hitting my sister? Ok, I knew the reason for the last one…I swore that I would never say that as a mom. So here I am with a three year old of my own. I have answered “why” patiently all day. All. Day. Long. Somewhere around dinner time my patience wore out and I said it. And you know what? It felt good. (But more importantly, it worked!) I took a deep breath and moved on. It wasn’t the cursed experience I expected it to be. 

But isn’t that what God says to us? Obey me because I said so. He tells the Israelites specific things to do, wear, eat, and say. He gave the 10 commandments. He told us the greatest commandment. And we (sometimes whine) and ask God “WHY?” all the time. We ask it when we are angry, confused, or told to do something we don’t want to do. 

This week I was pondering about this and wondering what God’s answer to us is. 

Isaiah 15:22 has Samuel the prophet say “...To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” Here are a few of the verses that I came up with. 

Exodus 6:2 “God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord.” (and then goes on to explain why he was leading the people of Israel through the desert)

Matthew 13:11 “He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” (as Jesus explained why he spoke in parables)

Job 37:5 “God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.”

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.”

Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever,...”

These verses have made me realize that just like I really didn’t MIND Alora asking me “why?”, neither does God. People have asked him that question throughout the Bible. He has also asked that question of many people. I have also learned that sometimes God answers with an explanation. And sometimes he doesn’t. 

Where does that leave us then when we really want to know why? It leaves us with obedience. As disciples of Christ, we are asked to obey God no matter what it costs us. Sometimes we just have to remember that He is a good father and wants what is best for us. His eternal knowledge is beyond what we can comprehend. That is not the answer we want. It is the equivalent to “because I said so”. But sometimes with a little time and space, we can see that the experience of being told that by the loving, perfect, one true God of the universe isn’t the cursed experience we thought it would be. I hope you can find peace in that like I have this week, sisters. It certainly isn’t an easy task, but obedience is sometimes like that. It stings a little. Give it a try. Pray through it. Ask why and listen for an answer. And when you get one - whether the explanation one or the “because I said so” one - obey. Trust Him and his eternal lense. It will always be His perfect will.

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