Under the Mystery

“Why, Lord?”

I have asked Him this question many, many times this year. I ask not because I question His judgment but because His thoughts and ways are higher than mine. I cannot comprehend all of the reasons behind His doings.

“Why now, Lord?” I wondered in April, when I discovered that I was pregnant. The question was one of delight, not dismay; we had been waiting and hoping for another baby.

“Why, Lord?” I asked twice in June; once, after my dear friend called to say that her long awaited first baby had died in the womb; again, after my sister-in-law’s fourth birth ended in an emergency cesarean and a stillborn son.

The question is not an idle one, nor a rebellious one. I ask my Father because I long to know the mystery of His will, I long to grasp the fullness of the purpose that lies behind His actions, I long for my dim sight to be perfected in the light of His face. He graciously gives many answers to my wonderings in His word, but often I must go on in darkness in the face of the unexplained and incomprehensible. Some things will go unanswered until eternity, and it is then that I must trust Him without fretting, and leave the “why” to His wisdom. It is only there–in the confidence I have in His perfect judgements, and the assurance that His purposes are good and glorious–that I can rest in peace.

As Amy Carmichael said,

If I wonder why something trying is allowed,
and press for prayer that it may be removed;
if I cannot be trusted with any disappointment,
and cannot go on in peace under any mystery,
then I know nothing of Calvary Love.

On November 14, 2006, the pain was too deep, the blow too sharp, for my reeling mind to even begin to ask “why.” I could only weep over the still form of our baby girl, our precious Roseanna Kari, as my Father took to Himself the daughter born only one day before.

In the days that followed, the questions echoed repeatedly through my soul. Why was her life so short? Why must she have suffered so in that one brief day? Why were we not allowed to hold her longer? Even now, most of them remain unanswered. The doctors could not pinpoint a reason behind her death.

Roseanna is gone. It remains to me to go on under this mystery, leaving all of the churning “what if’s” and “if only’s” with my Father. I give Him, too, all of the uncertainties and fears that shadow the future. He knows all that has passed, and all that lies ahead. Nothing can touch me, but what He allows. Though the storm blow fiercely and the night be black about me, in Him is peace for the present and light enough for the next step of the way.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements, and His ways past finding out!… For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things: to Whom be glory for ever. Amen (Romans 11:33, 36).


  1. I had written this poem in a desire to encourage a family who had gone through a miscarriage last summer. I spoke from our own family’s experience of losing babies to miscarriage. I know that our experience is not the same – you knew your baby longer than we did, but I hoped that this would be an encouragement to you, just the same – mostly because of what we have to look forward to in eternity.

    Little one, you slipped away
    Before you ere were known.
    By the ones who loved you so
    And in whose hearts you’d grown.

    We missed those tiny baby hands
    And little baby feet.
    The softly wrinkled little brow,
    And tender mouth so sweet.

    We missed first words & toddling steps
    The baby clothes and toys,
    And all the extra tiny things
    And precious little joys.

    The excitement we once knew
    Is replaced with tears of sorrow.
    But we grieve not without the Hope
    Of a joyous, new tomorrow.

    For now, our hearts anticipate
    The day that we will meet.
    Not here on earth, but very soon
    At our dear Savior’s feet.

    You’re safe at Home, dear little one
    Tenderly carried all the way,
    By God, whose perfect plan for you
    Is now fulfilled in life’s short day.

    How sweet to know you’re not alone
    But rather fully blest.
    Your eyes behold our Savior’s throne
    And in His arms you rest.

    You’re in our hearts & loving thoughts
    Dear child that we never knew.
    And by God’s grace, when life is done,
    We’ll share the joys of Heaven with you.

    – In loving memory of the little ones Home safe with Jesus, still in our hearts.
    Tabitha Beals

  2. I can’t imagine what all you are going through… may God hold you in His arms. I’m praying for you.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sure your testimony of trust amidst very deep pain has touched many others (just as it impacted me). My friend and I were just talking the other day…how a Christian’s entire life is full of times of waiting (a reality that is often unspoken in Christian circles)…of trusting Him in dissapointment, pain, uncertainty…trusting amidst the “why”s and the longing to see His great, all-encompassing plan (so we can understand exactly why He allowed certain events or circumstances).

  4. Thank you… when I read this some days ago, I could not grasp it. Now I can, and I lay all my own why’s at His feet. It is not for me to know, only to go on and trust that His way is best.

  5. Dear Ruth, Thank you for sharing this. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to write about, but you have touched many. May God comfort you as only He can.

  6. Dear Ruth,

    I don’t know if you’ll see this comment, but I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of and praying for you. I haven’t written to you in a while but have been keeping up with your updates on YLCF. May God take care of your family and spread His mercy into your lives.

    Love, Renee in Montana.

  7. Thank you so much sharing….I am sharing it with a friend who went through this two years ago.

  8. Thank you for sharing this emotional story and testimony with us. I know it is not just a story, but a very personal experience & proof of God’s mercy & grace. The picture of the baby is very precious.

    Love in Him,

  9. “I ask my Father because I long to know the mystery of His will”

    Oh to know that mystery. I know He knows best. Where does that longing come into HIS purpose? That the Father would teach me to TRUST more through it all…And then His perfect will would be fulfilled. Though He gives us His precious written word, He does not outline our future or ‘why things happen’. But as Elizabeth Elliot says, “I would far rather have a Guide than the best advice or the clearest set of directions.” Thank you so so much for sharing this piece. It was extremely timely for me.

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