I Don’t Have to Understand

“Terry, I’m not going to give you an explanation. I’m not going to tell you why all this happened. But I am going to tell you that I am soverign. I’m in control. And you have to trust me.”

Taken from Terror By Night by Terry Caffey. Copyright © 2009 by Terry Caffey and James Pence. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.


I just finished reading a book that made me think…and think…and think, long after I finished turning the pages. Terror By Night is a true story of the Caffey family. I won’t get into too many details in case you choose to read it yourself, but let me warn you, it’s not a light read. This family endured a horrific tragedy and the book is the events as told by the father.

God spoke to my heart as I read this book. There are many references to Job and as a result, I looked at the story of Job from yet another perspective. When I first read the book, I only focused on the ending – he received double of what he lost, therefore he lived “happily ever after.” However, the next time I focused on Job, God reminded me that while the ending was terrific, Job endured a lot of pain before he received the blessings – losing his children, his house, his livelihood, his health – not to mention his friends and wife’s support throughout his suffering. And then this time, God showed me yet another lesson from this book of the Bible. God doesn’t have to explain Himself.

This concept was brought home through the book, Terror By Night. Throughout the horrific events that the Caffey family endured, the father wanted answers. Last fall, when our family hit a rough spot of our own, (nothing compared to this family, though,) I asked God on occasion the same types of questions. Not necessarily, “Why us?” – I had resolved that question years ago with God, but instead, “Why?” I read the same type of question Job posed to God regarding his trials and the same line of questioning Mr. Caffey asked God regarding the why behind his family’s horror. What I realized was God’s answer was the same for everyone. The specifics didn’t matter, but the answer was the same. God doesn’t have to explain why. What He requires of us is trust.

Just as parents can be relied on to protect and provide for their children, if God says something even just once, we have assurance from His Word it will happen as He says. Multiple times in the Bible God promises to take care of His children. Just as parents don’t explain exactly how we will provide and protect, God doesn’t have to explain to His children the why’s either. We want our children to trust us to keep them safe – God wants our trust even more. And as the Creator of the Universe, He deserves it.

If you aren’t afraid to read some heavy material, I would encourage you to read Terror By Night for yourself. Mr. Caffey explains this concept better than I have. The powerful message I took from the book was that I may not understand everything that happens, just as children don’t always understand every decision their parents’ allow either, but I can trust that God’s in control. I may suffer pain and shed tears here on earth, but when I continue to trust God, He will continue to provide and protect. And that’s enough for me.

© Cheri Swalwell 2014

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