Tag Archives: Science

Believing in a Creator God (Part 5): Science and Faith

It has been some months since I last contributed to my series on the meaning of creation. Now, at last, I bring to you my fifth and final post for “Believing in a Creator God.” The reason I have written this series is to share the fruits of private studies and, more importantly, to provide clarity to my readers on what the Old Testament’s word bārā’, “create,” does and does not mean.

This clarity is important to me because numerous Christians in the United States use the language of “create” (e.g., “creation,” “creationism,” “creationist,” etc.) to talk about their faith, and about science, in ways that actually misrepresent what this word meant to Israel. In my view, if Christians are going to use Israel’s words as holy Scripture, as God’s words to them, then they should expend significant energies to understand those words — all the more so when they presume to respond to science on the authority of God.


If Christians are going to use Israel’s words as holy Scripture, as God’s words to them, then they should expend significant energies to understand those words.


Brief Review of bārā’

In Part 1, we met our word bārā’ in overview. Since bārā’ is a verb, in Part 2 we sampled some passages in which it occurs to look for clues to the kinds of action being conveyed. Especially helpful in this connection was seeing other verbs used alongside of bārā’. Beyond the kind of action itself, the meaning of verbs includes the time dimensions involved: when it is that the actions occur. In Part 3, then, we looked at the tenses of bārā’. In Part 4, we discussed direct objects: what kinds of things are acted upon by, or are the results of the action of, the verb bārā’.

I consider several important lessons to have emerged. First, Israel used bārā’ to denote the act of God making and forming things, both entities and events. Second, we learned that Israel quite regularly used bārā’ to refer to occurrences in the world in which agents other than God were fully active at the same time. In other words, “create” was not a way of saying that God had acted alone. Nor was it a way of saying that God did part of the action and something or someone else did the other part (50% God + 50% nature). It was more like overlapping ways of referring to the same occurrences.

Third, Israel used bārā’ in ways that denote past, present, and future action: God created, God is creating, and God will create. God is always active creating, and thus God is always a Creator. New events, ongoing occurrences of regular processes, new generations of living things, etc., are all God’s creative work.

Fourth, Israel identified a fairly comprehensive scope of objects with God’s creating. God creates the universe and everything in it. He creates humans and animals, not just in the past, but in ongoing generations. He creates Israel as his special, covenant people, including their experiences of judgment and destruction and of hope and deliverance. God creates the wind and other regular, mundane features of the larger natural world. It is thus difficult to detect anything that is off limits for the creating action of God.

To support my summary, I quote a summary of bārā’ that appears in a professional theological dictionary of the Old Testament: “Both human and cosmic, natural and historical entities are brought into existence by God; temporally, creation includes not only acts of origination but the ongoing succession of entities and conditions within the cosmos up to the present of the biblical writers. Finally, the OT can describe the same creative events as occurring both by God’s word and by natural means and processes over time (Stek). The OT does not separate, though it may distinguish, divine and ‘natural’ causality in creation” (Van Leeuwen, 1997, p. 730).


The OT does not separate, though it may distinguish, divine and ‘natural’ causality in creation.


Before I proceed with the implications of all of this for Christian thinking about science, I should address what, in biblical studies, is called the overload fallacy. The overload fallacy is a fallacy that occurs when a person (1) sees one word used in different places, (2) observes different meanings for that one word in those different places, and then (3) combines many or even all of those meanings for each individual occurrence of the word.

In the present case, the overload fallacy would occur if we took all of the meanings we have seen for bārā’ and then argued that each use of bārā’ contained all of those meanings. We would be overloading bārā’ with more meaning that it could possibly contain for a single use of the word. That is not how language works. Just because a word can mean different things in different contexts does not lead to the conclusion that a word means all of those things at once.

Here is my point: By summarizing the uses of bārā’ in the Hebrew Old Testament, I am showing the scope of the word, learning how extensive and flexible the word was. This enables us to draw better conclusions about Israel’s beliefs about God as one who creates. I am not, however, trying to suggest that all possible nuances of bārā’ are present with each use of the word.

Christians, Creation, and Science

Given all of the foregoing, I would like to make some suggestions for how Christians think about God’s creating, especially as such thinking relates to scientific investigations of the world.

First, we have seen how Israel often used bārā’ as a way of focusing on God’s action on occasions that still involved fully the actions of other agents (humans, animals, etc.). Since scientists study natural occurrences and try to explain them in terms of natural, observable causes and effects, science will focus on natural agents, and not on the action of God. Science as such is neither equipped nor qualified to make definitive claims about God’s action or inaction. Sometimes, scientists forget this limitation on their part.

Often, though, Christians are the ones at fault here, expecting science to uncover proof of God’s action. When it comes to creation, some Christians want to use science to prove that God must have created something, and, by this, they mean that God must have acted alone, without anything or anyone else being involved or fully active. In light of how Israel actually used bārā’, this is not a defensible use of the Old Testament.

Christians should think of create as a faith claim about God’s action: a way of stating belief that God is the ultimate, sovereign, governing agent acting in and through the world.

“God’s relationship with the world is comprehensive in scope: God is present and active wherever there is world. God does not create the world and then leave it, but God creates the world and enters into it, lives within it, as God. … God is present on every occasion and active in every event” (Fretheim, 2005, p. 23, emphasis in original).

Christians should not look for evidence of God’s action by looking for (currently) scant or nonexistent evidence of the actions of other agents. We may not yet have good understandings of how other agents are involved in the world’s events, but this shortcoming on our part does not somehow constitute evidence of God.

Second, we have seen how Israel used bārā’ for God’s action in the past, present, and future.

Thinking about science and time, science studies the way the world works, and thus conducts its studies in the present. However, since science continues from generation to generation, it builds upon past studies and can preserve ongoing observations of the world, keeping a running record. In addition, science can use its insights from the present to give plausible interpretations of the past, as, for example, in scientific interpretations of rock layers and fossil remains. What is more, scientific methods often make short-term predictions of the future to test hypotheses, as well as make long-term predictions about future occurrences in our world and universe.

Christians who think that God created in the past and ceased creating are mistaken. And, as we have seen already, it is also a mistake for Christians to think that a lack of scientific explanation for things in the past or present are markers of God’s special action then and now. Why? Because, according to Israel, God is always creating. Therefore, any time in the history of the universe is a time during which God is active in creating.


It is a mistake for Christians to think that a lack of scientific explanation for things in the past or present are markers of God’s special action then and now.


Third and finally, we have seen how Israel identified so many direct objects with bārā’ that it seems they saw everything as God’s creation. (This is clear in Gen 1:1-2:3.) If the earth, universe, humans, animals, wind, human morals, and human social and political events are all objects of God’s creating, then it would be remarkable if there were things that Israel did not regard as created by God. At the empirical level, then — the level where science takes place — everything constitutes evidence of God’s creating.

Perhaps some Christians would respond, Now, hang on, Daniel: If everything is God’s creation, then how can we prove God’s creating? This is a good question, but does it not start with the prior assumption that the objects of God’s creating were meant to bear some sort of special mark — a divine signature that might as well say, “Made by God”? Israel did not use bārā’ to divide the world into (A) Objects Made by God and (B) Objects Not Made by God. This whole mode of thinking misunderstands the emphasis of God’s creating.

No, Israel seems to have faced their world, in all of its wonderful and dizzying variety, with all of its complexities and ambiguities, with a fundamental belief about God: No matter what has happened, is happening, or will happen — no matter what has lived, is living, or will live in our universe and world — God is the sovereign Creator, the Maker of the universe and all that it contains and does. bārā’ is a faith word, a courageous statement of belief about the world: courageous because so much of what happens in the world offends or troubles us, and to associate these offenses and troubles with God takes courage — provided this belief is confessed, not as a cop-out, but as a response to rigorous engagement with the world.

Israel was not naïve. Their faith was hardly childish or underdeveloped. In fact, the biblical writings evince a theological maturity and courage that put many modern American Christians to shame (myself included). If we think that scientific discoveries so easily threaten the theological claims of bārā’ in the Old Testament, it is perhaps because we modern readers have a less mature belief about creation than Israel did, not because Israel failed to think about the impact of future discoveries on their faith claims. Perhaps Israel’s comprehensive creation faith is meant to push us readers, to pose questions to our precious assumptions.


If we think that scientific discoveries so easily threaten the theological claims of bārā’ in the Old Testament, it is perhaps because we modern readers have a less mature belief about creation than Israel did.


Believing in a Creator God does not have to be an alternative to practicing scientific investigations of the world. Believing in a Creator God does not have to function as a stand-in explanation when we lack a naturalistic one. Believing in God can be a willful, insistent, even experimental mode of engaging the world, choosing to see God in all of the life forms past, present, and future, to see God in all human lives and human events in all their messy and disturbing variety, to see God as intimately and dynamically interactive with a world that he enjoys seeing be and become as it acts with its own integrity, will, and power.

Believing in a Creator God is the choice to see the world and its happenings as God’s masterpiece, a work of art that is itself fully alive and interactive with God — whether it knows it or not — to see ourselves as God’s creations and our lives as blessings and opportunities to contribute to something bigger than we are, to a world that is not ours but within which we’re grateful to play a part.


References

Fretheim, T. (2005). God and world in the Old Testament: A relational theology of creation. Nashville, TN: Abingdon.

Van Leeuwen, R. (1997). ברא [br’]. In W. A. VanGemeren (Ed.), New international dictionary of Old Testament theology and exegesis: Vol. 1 (pp. 728-735). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Just Out! Important Book on Science and Religion

Do you want to know what people think about the relationship between science and religion? I’m not talking about the popular-level myths that circulate all too often in our culture: you know, those episodes that produce more heat than light, that involve the loud-mouths and the angry, insistent voices. No, I’m talking about accurate, scholarly insight into what people really think — the opinions that are unlikely to get the publicity they deserve.

I just got my copy of a brand new, Oxford-published book on sociological research into science / religion relationships. I’ve started into it, and I can already recommend that you prioritize it for your own interests and readings in this field of study.

Elaine Howard Ecklund and Christopher P. Scheitle, Religion vs. Science: What Religious People Really Think (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), 224 pp. (Amazon link here.)

To whet your appetite for the book, and, more importantly, for the research and insights revealed in the book, allow me to post a couple of quotes that exemplify the message of the book.

“In Religion vs. Science we argue that the way religious Americans approach science is shaped by two fundamental questions. First, what does science mean for the existence and activity of God? Second, what does science mean for the sacredness of humanity?” (p. 2)

That is, these sociologists are trying to help people, whoever their readers might be, to understand what is really at stake for those whose religious convictions compel them to respond to science in particular ways. The second quote speaks to the difference between popular impressions and actual realities.

“Despite the dominance of the conflict narrative in the media and public discourse, in reality most Americans actually do not perceive religion and science as being inherently in conflict.” (p. 16, emphasis in the original)

In other words, there is this powerful and pervasive belief in our culture that science and religion are at war, but when you sit down to listen carefully to what religious people really think, you learn that most religious people do not see or support a war model (“conflict narrative”) for science / religion relations.

Ecklund and Scheitle’s book will go a long way toward making us informed about reality, and God knows that in our social and political climate we need people to be informed about reality.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 139: Thinking Theologically, Thinking Scientifically (Part 4)

If my goal as a blogger were to produce a steady stream of blog posts, then I suppose the past two months without a post would render me a failure — not least because of the beauty and power of the last one, a guest-post from a friend of mine.

The last three posts explored a biblical psalm as a rich text for thinking theologically and scientifically about human life. In Part 1, we worked through Psalm 139 as a whole to understand the flow of the author’s theology and prayers. In Part 2, we examined verses 13-16 in greater detail to consider the interrelationship of theological and natural views of human origins and development. In Part 3, a friend mine, and neonatal nurse practitioner, invited us into her way of thinking about embryonic and fetal development as someone who holds together faith, science, and professional care.

As the final post in this series, Part 4 will respond to Part 3, and in a way that draws together the whole series into a suggestion for how Bible readers approach scientific discovery and knowledge.

In Part 3, Sarah did a monumental job of thinking through Psalm 139:13-16, given what she understands through her scientific education and professional practice. What a gift for us as readers to be invited into the sensitive and compassionate thoughts of one who is on the front lines of care for developing and new-born human life!

Lessons on Science and Faith from Sarah

Practical science. The science that informs Sarah’s work is practical. It enables her and her coworkers to understand more (but certainly not everything) about what is going on during development, pregnancy, and birth. As a result, Sarah and others are able to care for human life in highly specialized ways. These practical fruits of science did not arise through studying the Bible. God did not use biblical writings (including Psalm 139) to tell people everything they might want or need to know. A proper respect for the Bible admits what its passages cannot do. If God values and supports the kind of care that Sarah and others give, then perhaps God values scientific inquiries that enable such care. A necessary corollary of scientific inquiry is that people will learn things they did not know, things that are different than what they previously thought.


A proper respect for the Bible admits what its passages cannot do.


Limits to our knowledge. As Sarah indicated throughout her post, she and her fellow caregivers do not always understand what is going on with pregnancies, nor why some things happen the way they do. There are limits to our knowledge. If I am right about Sarah and her line of work, I think she and her colleagues would welcome more scientific knowledge, especially if such knowledge would help them give better care and treatments and save more lives.

Shifting from Sarah to my experience with many other Christians, some Christians and Christian groups look to the limits of our knowledge as evidence of God’s role in the world. A word of caution here! Do not use God as a convenient “explanation” when you cannot otherwise explain something. First, this cheapens God and turns God into little more than a rescue for our ignorance. It is better to think of God more holistically, the God who is sovereign over all things, whether we can explain them or not. Second, science continues to gain more knowledge, advancing beyond previous limits. Science in 2017 knows more than science knew in 1917. The limits of our knowledge in 1917 did not all continue to be limits after that time. Perhaps some limits are common to 1917 and 2017, but even those limits might someday be transgressed. Believers in God and Bible readers should not bank on the limits of our knowledge as some sort of proof that God is doing something.


Using God as a convenient “explanation” when you cannot otherwise explain something cheapens God and turns God into little more than a rescue for our ignorance.


Faith within our limitations. Sarah concluded her article by affirming her faith in God despite the limitations of her knowledge. Hers is a mature faith: she recognizes that she will never have enough answers to satisfy her most troubling questions. From Sarah, we can learn about the nature of faith. If answers to all of our questions is a necessary precondition for believing in God, then, to be logical at this point, we would never believe in God. Indeed, some people choose non-belief precisely for this reason. And, let me say, I understand and respect many people who are atheists because they find their troubling questions unanswered. Some more militant atheists consider believers cowards, incapable of facing the truth of our unanswered questions.

In response, I say: Unanswered questions about God do not by necessity serve as evidence against God. (There are logical reasons not to equate unanswered questions with evidence against the existence of something.) Now, are some believers naive in their faith? Sure. But choosing faith within limitations is not necessarily naive or cowardly. And, to return to Sarah’s situation, her faith is not something she dons in order to stop the progress of science or compensate for ignorance. No, hers is a faith that changes with her knowledge, a commitment to the belief that God exists despite the troubling questions. An, in the spirit of many biblical passages, her faith expresses itself in active caregiving.

The value of human life. Sarah’s article has a magnificent way of stressing the value of human life. Sarah sees God amid defects and disabilities. Her God is not just the god of “normal,” the god of a fully-functioning and self-sufficient humans. Her God is not a god whose character is seen only when things go right. Sarah’s thoughts invite us to think more carefully and critically about humans as “the image of God” (Genesis 1:26-27). Just what does it mean for a human life to resemble God in this world? Does any human life successfully and equally make God evident and visible? Might instances of defect and disability rightly challenge our assumptions about what it means to be human and what it means to display God’s character?


Might instances of defect and disability rightly challenge our assumptions about what it means to be human and what it means to display God’s character?


Ethics. If Sarah’s insights challenge our assumptions about what it means to be human, then they also challenge our ethics, our actions toward each other as fellow humans. Sarah has written about the choices that biological parents make that influence how their baby is “knit together” (Psalm 139:13). If God has chosen to make more humans through the willful actions of humans, then God has chosen to knit those babies through the choices their parents make. Human parents are acting by God’s sanction and with responsibility to God for how their actions impact their developing child. In addition, and as just intimated, the way in which we view and value human life will influence how we act for those lives that need special care.

God as creator. Sarah’s job puts her on the front lines of what it means for God to create humans by letting humans make more of themselves. It is conceivable that God could have created a world in which God made each new human himself. That is not our world. God has made a world that can make more of itself. God has made humans such that humans can make more of themselves. This means, among other things, that it is, technically, God’s will that it be possible for defects and death to occur in developing babies. I hope this statement does not sound too sharp or insensitive. Indeed, my stomach churns a little as I write it. Even biblical passages that speak about curses on human existence (Genesis 3:14-19) or the groanings of human life (Romans 8:19-23) do not address explicitly the issue of defects, abnormalities, and death in developing babies. I would advise against simplistic readings of biblical texts here, especially if motivated by a need to rescue ourselves from the discomfort of thinking that God willfully allows creating to include these risks.


It is conceivable that God could have created a world in which God made each new human himself. That is not our world.


The flip side of these troubling experiences is the beauty of two humans being able to create life together. This is an experience with which I am, thankfully, personally acquainted. To look at my daughter, I am moved quite often at the thought that I helped create her. I do not think I would want to live in a world where it was not possible to do so. To appreciate living in a world where we can truly create new life, where we can be “created co-creators” with God, we accept also the risks that go along with that privilege and joy.

Psalm 139: Thinking Theologically, Thinking Scientifically

Psalm 139 gives us rich space within which we can think about God and science. In particular, the psalmist’s focus on his development in the womb (139:13-16) invites us to think about the relationship between scientific understandings of this process and theological belief. Many people describe humans as “fearfully and wonderfully made,” a statement from this psalm (139:14). The psalm itself invites us into deeper reflection on being fearfully and wonderfully made. Scientific understanding clarifies and purifies this belief, as well as beliefs people have about God’s role in human life. In addition, neonatal critical care brings a powerful and practical perspective on how we apply science to real life, including real-life theology.

I propose that devout Bible readers see in science an ally and friend who can help them read the Bible better, believe in God more clearly, and serve the world more actively and compassionately. Yes, science may learn things about us and about our world that pushes against previously-held beliefs, but even as some insights push us in uncomfortable ways, other insights that are gained through the very same scientific processes clearly enable us to act more coherently and in tune with the way our world actually works. This, it turns out, is exactly what the biblical pursuit of wisdom includes: human life and choices conform to the way the world, as created by God, actually works, and not as we think it should work. There thus emerges a consonance between the life of the person of faith and the world in which that person lives and acts.


I propose that devout Bible readers see in science an ally and friend who can help them read the Bible better, believe in God more clearly, and serve the world more actively and compassionately.

Psalm 139: Thinking Theologically, Thinking Scientifically (Part 3)

In Part 1 of this series, we worked through Psalm 139 in its entirety to follow and understand the flow and contours of the psalmist’s theology and prayers. In Part 2, we explored verses 13-16 in more depth to unpack the psalmist’s theology of his own development in the womb, as well as ways in which these verses might assist devout readers in thinking maturely about scientific perspectives on, and discoveries about, a human’s origins and development.

For this post, I am delighted and honored to share with you a guest article by a friend of mine, and a neonatal nurse practitioner, Sarah Bylsma. Sarah shares with us her perspective on Psalm 139:13-16, a perspective that occurs for her at the intersection of her Christian faith, her scientific training, and her professional involvement in caring for newborns, including experience working in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Sarah, I welcome your voice here, and at this moment offer you my sincerest thanks.


“Faith and Science in Neonatal Practice: A Reflection on Psalm 139”
By Sarah Bylsma

First, a little about me. I graduated with a B.A. in Biology from Lipscomb University in May 2005. I then went to Belmont University and graduated with a B.S. in Nursing in December 2006. In January 2007, I began working as a nurse in a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. While working full time as a nurse in the NICU, I attended graduate school at the University of Alabama Birmingham from 2009 to 2011. I obtained a M.S. in Nursing with a Neonatal specialty in May 2011. I have been board certified as a neonatal nurse practitioner since September 2011. I currently work full time as a neonatal nurse practitioner. I am also a full-time mom to three little ones ages 5 and under. I have been a Christian since 1990, with evolving beliefs as my worldview has changed, but never questioning the existence of our God.

As I read Psalms 139, the author seems to insinuate three things in verses 13-16: (1) that God is creator, (2) that life begins in utero, and (3) that God knew every detail of that life the moment it began.

I believe that God is creator of all things. My education and experience have shaped HOW I view God as creator, but they most certainly do not change the fact that He is behind the existence of all life.

As a scientist and medical professional, I know that human life forms from two human cells, the egg from the mother and the sperm from the father. Once the egg is fertilized by a single sperm cell, a zygote is formed. The zygote will undergo mitosis, a process a cell undergoes to form two new cells. DNA, our unique genetic code, is replicated in this process. It is here in mitosis, as the zygote grows and divides to become an embryo, that the development of human life can first go awry. Errors during mitosis can result in chromosomal errors ranging from too many / not enough chromosomes to extra / missing pieces of chromosomes — all of which can create a wide variety of syndromes, cancers, and death.

Often, when embryos are created from cells with abnormal chromosomes incompatible with life, a mother will miscarry. This raises a question about life and its beginning. Is an embryo with genetic information incompatible with an earthly life still a life? Conception had occurred and genetic information exists, but no life will be formed. With my scientific knowledge, I believe that life begins in utero, but not at conception. My reading of Psalm 139 does not dispute this. The author understands that life began in his mother’s womb, and the scripture does not explicitly state a time-frame. I believe you would be hard-pressed to find anyone working in neonatology that would dispute that life begins in utero.

God knowing every detail of each life the moment it begins is different than God choosing every detail for that life. This is because God gives us choices (free will). You may be asking questions like: How does that play into embryologic development? What about when the formation of life goes wrong? If God is creator, how can that go wrong? No one chooses how our babies are formed in utero, right?

God has given us free will, and that freedom to make our own choices can and does affect others. This includes the developing fetus. Sometimes these can have devastating effects on the fetus. As Daniel pointed out in Part 2, the psalmist clearly understood that the mother and father played a role in the human-making process. Their role is not just one of providing the cells to be fertilized, but also to create an environment in which proper development can occur. The psalmist describes being knit together in his mother’s womb. Choices help determine the kind of knitting that occurs.

Daniel has already discussed how the materials used in the knitting process affect the end result. Embryonic development and postnatal health is most certainly affected by the parents’ individual choices and environmental factors both before and while the mother is pregnant. Choices from our past can impact our bodies or the environment, which in turn impact embryonic development. The mother and father’s choices (both before and during pregnancy) on lifestyle, nutrition, drug use, sexual activity, etc., can alter fetal development. For example, sexually-transmitted diseases, particularly when acquired during pregnancy, can be especially harmful to a developing fetus.

It’s clear that bad choices can have an effect on development. But there are other choices that can impact it also, such as age at conception: older mothers have a higher chance of chromosomal errors. Sometimes we do not know why something goes wrong in the development process. There are many intricate steps involved in creating a human life, and thus many places for the process to go wrong. Research has shown us that unknown diseases, illness, hormones, and genetics can all impact a growing fetus. Despite all of the scientific advances, sometimes we do not know why the process goes amiss. Sometimes the process is going normally but gets interrupted, resulting in premature birth.

So we know that embryological development can go wrong, regardless of how it goes wrong. In my line of work, I see so many ways in which the development went awry or was interrupted. I don’t always know how it happened or why. It is our tendency to see these as abnormalities and imperfections, something to be feared and less-than-desired. How can God create a life like that? But I see God in these babies the most. I watch these babies grow and mature, and I know their lives still have purpose and meaning. I see God in that baby who is missing parts of his brain, who can still walk and talk and amaze healthcare professionals with his progress. I see God in that premature baby born 4 months too soon, who through medical advancement and technology is able to grow and develop into a perfectly healthy infant.

Occasionally I see babies that do survive but have severe lifelong and debilitating complications. Why does God allow these babies to survive? WE see these as imperfections, but to our God they are perfect, just like the rest of us. Their lives have purpose, even when we fail to see what that is. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s eyes.

Often I see these babies live and thrive, but sometimes, they don’t make it. Sometimes, they are simply born too early. Sometimes, their development was affected so greatly that life outside the womb isn’t possible. The complexities of human development sometimes allow life to persist in utero, but not after birth. Why does God allow these lives to exist throughout the duration of a pregnancy, but not long enough to have a life on earth? I have struggled with this question. I have shed many tears over the losses of a life gone too soon. I do not have the answers. Even while writing this, I have spent hours and hours thinking about it, trying to come up with an answer. Science can answer many questions about life, but sometimes…often…you just need to have faith and know that our God has a plan, even when we do not understand it.