When you believe in God, it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that He has allowed adversity to touch your life. Think about it.
If God knows everything, this diagnosis did not surprise Him.
If God sees everything, He saw the bad news coming.
If God has power over everything, He could have stopped it.
But He didn’t.
He didn’t stop you or your loved one from getting cancer.
Would you like to know why?………….Join the club!
My journalist-friend Mike Dellosso was awaiting the release of his first novel when his colorectal cancer was diagnosed. At only thirty-five, with a wife and three young children, he wondered what God was doing (or not doing) in his life.
“Lord, in my head, I know You’re in control, but my heart is wondering what’s going on here,” he said.
“You sure You know what You’re doing?”
My author-friend David Biebel talks about this dilemma in his book If God Is So Good, Why Do I Hurt So Bad? He says there are two truths suffering people have to reconcile: sometimes life is agony, and our loving God is in control.
In the beginning, it was hard for me to reconcile these truths. I honestly found that at first my faith made things harder rather than easier as I had to struggle with the fact that I loved and faithfully served God for many years and yet He let something really bad happen to me when I knew He had the power to stop it. I’ve heard some people without faith respond to cancer very nonchalantly because they have kind of a “que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be” approach to life.
But for me, it’s different. I don’t believe that life is merely a series of random events that happen to us. I believe I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, watches over me and has good plans for my life. So, why did a nice girl like me get a not-nice thing like cancer?
The reality is that God’s Word never promises that He will stop all bad things from happening to us. On the contrary, it promises us that He is prepared for each battle and will equip us, too.
The Message Bible paraphrases 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 this way:
We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized;
we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized.
But God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.
God is in control.
Errant cells aren’t.
Toxic medicine isn’t.
White-coated doctors aren’t.
Herbs and vitamins aren’t.
Many of us would have to admit that we are “control freaks.” We like to make plans, carry them out and then smile at how well they went. We like to call the shots. We’d rather tell God what we think we need than have Him tell us. If we’re truly honest, we even may admit that it’s hard to pray for God’s will because we know it may not be the same as ours.
Cancer can be a real wake-up call for us. We are forced to realize we are not in control of everything. But no matter how many (or how few) tomorrows doctors may have told you to expect, those tomorrow are safe because God is in control.
The sooner we learn this truth, the easier our fight will be. It’s actually quite freeing once you get it right. You can relax knowing Someone else is in charge—Someone much more intelligent, powerful and vigilant than we are or could ever hope to be.
Be encouraged that this health crisis–or any other adversity–has not taken God by surprise. He is in control and knows how to equip you for the fight. Will you pray from Psalm 31 with me?
O LORD, I have come to you for protection…be my rock of protection. A fortress where I will be safe…I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles and care about the anguish of my soul…I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, “You are my God!” My future is in your hands. Amen.