“Why would God not want a father to be there when his first child was born?”

This was the question asked of me last week, by a young man who is at Palmetto Youth Academy.  I assumed he was referring to his own personal situation – being incarcerated when his child is born.

Rather than discuss with him the consequences of his crime, I tried to paint a picture that might help him understand the good in the situation.  I asked him to imagine a father with an illness that needed immediate treatment, and that without the proper medical treatment the father might never be able to be there for the child.  I asked, wouldn’t it be better for the child to have a father several months late, rather than not have the father at all?

He agreed the father needed to take care of his health first. 

I said that perhaps God had him missing his daughter’s birth, so that he could use this time away as a time of healing and preparing.  I emphasized the important thing for him now, was to focus on a new direction for his life. It’s important not to waste his time there, but to instead prepare for his future.  While locked up, he has time to get his life free from drugs, free from bad influences, and time to finish his high school degree. He has time to focus on becoming the father his daughter will need him to be – the man he was created to be.

What do we do when bad things happen? Do we question God? Do we ask Him why?   Why?   Why?   We know there are consequences for our wrongs, but the better question to ask is “What?”  God, what would you like me to do, given this situation? 

Knowing the “what,” will put us in a better place to understanding the “why.”

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