Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! (Romans 11:33)
One day, when my daughter, Ally, was three years old, she asked, “Mommy, when is my birthday?” Knowing that the date, April 14, would mean nothing to her, I decided to connect it to something she would understand. I said, “Your birthday is either just before or just after Easter.”
“Oh great!” she said. “You don’t know when my birthday is, either!”
Although I had tried to answer Ally’s question in a helpful way, the answer she got was not the one she wanted. She had expected me to give her a date. When I didn’t, she made an inaccurate assumption about me.
My prayer life sometimes reminds me of that conversation. I ask God for something, but the answer I get may not be what I expected. As a result, I may assume that God is just not tuned in to the details of my life. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Luke 12:7 tells me that He knows the number of hairs on my head.
Ally is grown now, but our long ago talk about her birthday has stuck with me, not only because it makes me laugh, but because God has used it to teach me. When I responded to Ally’s question by relating the answer to Easter, it didn’t really help. But I’ve learned that when I bring my questions to God, looking for answers in the framework of Christ’s death and resurrection always helps. Sometimes pointing me to Easter is the only response I sense and, ultimately, it is always enough.