The previous chapter of "Shepherding" summarized on this blog was about communication. I would like to add just a few more personal thoughts and ideas.
Recently, I was talking to my children about Genesis 3, about Adam and Eve's temptation and sin. My 5-year-old son, Elijah, asked, "Did God know that Adam and Eve would sin by taking the fruit?" After I affirmed that He did, since He is sovereign and all-knowing, Elijah asked, "Then why did God even put that tree in the Garden?" What a great question! He is beginning to struggle with the concepts of an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving God who allows "bad" things to happen.
So, I thought about a response. Not having a great answer right off the cuff, I decided to stall and distract Elijah with a question of my own. I said, "Well, I have a question for you. When God made Satan, did He know that Satan would one day rebel against Him?" Elijah said that of course God knew that. I replied, "Then why did God make Satan?" My son and I continued to talk about how we can't understand everything about God, but that's good. If we could completely understand Him, then He wouldn't really be so special, would He?
I'm not sure if I should have had a more theologically-fulfilling answer for Elijah. But I do love that he understands that I don't have all the answers about God and life. He knows that his daddy must seek and trust in the Heavenly Father.