‘Because I said so’

Published 9:30 pm Saturday, March 24, 2018

By Nathan Rice

The words came out of my mouth before I fully realized what I had said. It was a surprise to me, because it had been a while since I said those words, and I’m normally very careful about what I say. Nevertheless, I said them. I had just answered the young man’s question of “Why” with a resounding “Because I said so.”

I had a perfectly good reason for what I was telling him to do, but I could not explain it to him at that time. I needed him to trust me and obey me in that moment even if he did not receive an explanation or fully understand the purpose behind my order.

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He obeyed my order and did what I requested. I was happy and proud that he listened to me, even if he did grumble a little under his breath as he complied. This whole experience made me think about my Heavenly Father and the times He does not give me an explanation.

First, I realized how much I love the young man to whom I said “Because I said so.” I wouldn’t hesitate to jump in front a speeding train to save him if he was in danger. I’ve made personal sacrifices for him over the years with the hopes that it would help him grow up happy and healthy. Everything I do, or ask him to do, is for his benefit. I would never do anything to cause him harm.

I realized how much this equates to our Heavenly Father. His love for me is immeasurable, and the sacrifice He made on the cross shows the great lengths He was willing to go in order to rescue me. He is the epitome of a good father. I may not understand all His commands, or understand why there are times He says “Because I said so” instead of giving me a reason, but I do know the love of my Father. I know He works all things together for good. Therefore, I will do my best to quickly obey all His orders even if an explanation is not provided.

Next, I thought about the reason for the order I had given. There was a purpose behind it, and it was a good reason. I couldn’t explain it to him at the moment, but it did make sense. There are some other times when he’s simply not old enough to understand the reason behind my order or my answer. Yet there is always a reason, and the reason is never to harm him.

In the same manner Scripture says that the ways of my Heavenly Father are above my ways. I would not be able to fully understand all that God orders or allows even if He were to explain it to me in all of its details.

I am an imperfect, fallen individual who expected the child in my care to follow my instructions without an explanation. How much more should a perfect, holy God be able to expect that His children quickly follow His instructions?

There are times when it seems like God has said, “Because I said so.” Rather than demanding that it all make sense to me or that He give me an answer, I have come to realize that the best thing for me to do is to trust the One who has proven His love for me and to obey Him without hesitation.

Nathan Rice is a Hampton Roads native and can be reached at nrice@abnb.org.