Our Wee Robins and a Good Question

I have never felt so close to nature in any home I have lived in as I do now. In walking to the boys’ school we spotted a beautiful fox and her baby. The boys have since confirmed that they have seen a whole family, in fact one of them wandered through our backyard last week. Then there are the frogs. The biggest frogs I have ever seen, and the noisiest I have ever heard. I didn’t realize when we bought the house that it came with a pond in the back yard complete with frogs. With the good weather upon us we have now emptied the pond and discovered the pool underneath. At least one frog has found its way back in. Then there are the mice. Feeling a little too close to nature for my liking on that one. The mice are now gone, but several cats now regularly drop by for a visit. We don’t discourage them. And there are hawks circling around too.

But my favourite animals around our house are the robins. One had built a nest in our porch, much to my wife’s disgust, but to the fascinated delight of the boys. Our youngest named the robin Noah which stuck until Noah laid an egg. Three eggs actually, judging by the three little beaks that you could see straining to get a worm from the mommy or daddy robins. And how quickly they grew! The three little beaks we could see gave way to three little heads and before you knew it, three whole bodies flapping around jostling for position within the ever more cramped nest.

All this experience of nature led me to praise God and marvel in His creation. How amazing it all is!

But the amazing growth of the baby robins came to an end. One morning we were horrified to discover a mix of feathers, blood, and robin parts scattered on our porch. The end of ‘our’ robins seemed too early, too violent. My amazement at God’s creation gave way to wondering why it had to be this way. And our grisly discovery cannot compare to the terrible discoveries that often occur in people’s lives. We are left with a good question: ‘why?’

The book of Job poses that very question. But it never answers it. Following all the stabs at “here are the reasons you are suffering, Job” given by his friends, God finally speaks with His word on the situation. And it is not an answer at all but question after question, four chapters worth (chapters 38-41). Through God’s questions, Job realises that God has done and does so much that is beyond his comprehension:

Then Job replied to the LORD: “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. (Job 42:1-3 NIV)

“I know you can do all things”: God can be trusted. Even when we don’t understand, God can be trusted. Even when the question “why” lingers through our lives with every grim reminder, God can be trusted. Let’s not be afraid to live with the question. Job was at the time the most righteous person on earth and he asked it. But may our trust in God overwhelm it.

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