Finding Sanctuary

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Sometimes I read old posts and I’m impacted again by the lesson God was teaching me through Mom and the circumstances. It strikes me how often Mom’s words, even though spoken in her confusion, led me to new clarity. She continued to teach me her whole life. I’m so grateful.

This post resonates strongly with me today. If I was writing it now I would add a few questions about COVID and presidential elections and justice and civility. But the conclusion comforts me again. And this is a time in history when we need all the protection and comfort the Lord offers. I hope you find some here too…

November 21, 2014

Last week Mama said two words that keep on quietly haunting me. She probably didn’t know what she was saying, but her simple incomplete question keeps echoing in my thoughts.

She sat next to me on the love seat, and she looked right at me, and for no apparent reason asked, “How come?”

I couldn’t figure out what she was referring to, or if she even knew herself.  But I’ve been finishing the question for her, as life swirls and storms around me…

How come cars keep breaking down and money keeps running out? How come it’s so hard to lose weight, but so easy to lose patience?

How come precious little children have epilepsy and wealthy big insurance companies won’t pay for things that help them? How come beloved children battle cancer and teens die in car crashes?

How come beautiful, talented, loved young adults, with their whole lives ahead of them, question if they want to live?

How come terrorists attack innocent people? And why does God allow Ebola to kill doctors who were sacrificially trying to help others?

How come people who desperately want children can’t conceive and people who easily conceive don’t want to?

How come people who have lived faithful, godly, unselfish lives end up with Alzheimer’s and blindness?

How come?

Last night, my daughter Annie went over to help my parents.  She found them cuddled on the loveseat. Mom said, “We’re not here!”

Annie and I chuckled when she told me about it. But I’m thinking now that sometimes I just want to say that to the world when I feel like escaping all the hard stuff. I just want to pull the shades down and lock the doors and declare, “We’re not here!”  We’re taking a break from the crazy, confusing world.

God doesn’t answer all my “how come” questions. And He doesn’t give me permission to hide from the world. But he does say He will be a sanctuary in it.

In Ezekiel chapter eleven, verse 16, God says that even though he has scattered the Israelites among the countries “…yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.”

In a time of confusion and captivity, God said he would be their sanctuary. Webster says sanctuary means “a holy place set aside for worship” or “a place of refuge or protection”.

And so this is where I need to go with all my “how comes”. I need to go to the sanctuary that God is. I need to lay all my questions and problems at His feet and worship Him. And then I need to just sit in His presence—in the sanctuary that He is for His children.

I need to be still and know that He is God.  He is my refuge. He is my protection. He can be trusted even when the “how comes” have no apparent answer.

He isn’t taking us out of this challenging world yet, but He’s giving us sanctuary in it. And He is with us always.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on
Photo by luizclas on


  1. What a perfect memory to reflect on today. So many questions of How come, but God is not surprised by any of it. He’s still in control!

  2. It’s so easy to ask “How come?” in the midst of everything plus Alzheimer’s. Thanks for reminding us that God answers in ways we may not comprehend. He is the great I Am.

  3. Your reflections always lead to the deeper thinking, and in a way that only God leads, to a deeper sense of peace. “How come” and “why” are questions kids ask incessantly. Your posed questions are the beautiful childlike questions we’d all desire answers and yet must be content that in this part of our life the answers will remain elusive, firmly planted in the mystery of God, of life, of Faith.
    Thank you for sharing and please be assured of my prayers for your family.

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