“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13
Our hearts are broken. Such a beautiful lady diagnosed with such an awful disease. She did nothing to deserve it. She is health conscious. She eats correctly. She exercises regularly, and she has her spiritual life in order.
I realize it rains on the just and the unjust. I realize there are weeds in all of our gardens. It just seems to me that every year another name is put on another prayer list with the word, “cancer,” written beside it.
I have no doubt that God is Sovereign. I have no doubt that God loves this woman – more than all of us put together. I think I’m tired. I think I’m emotionally fatigued. I think I am spiritually burned out. I long for that confidence of my childhood prayers. I long for that innocence of my youth that truly believed whatever I would pray for, if I asked in His name, He would grant it. After all, isn’t that what the Bible teaches?
The problem now is I’ve had far too many “no” answers. The problem now is that circumstances in life have shown that reality and spirituality must go together. Where some see that as a lack of faith or weak prayer life, I see the opposite. I am a “Thy-will-be-done” pray-er. The Bible doesn’t assure us that God will grant every wish as if He were a magic genie in a fairy tale. The Bible teaches us that God does what is perfect and best. We must learn to pray like Jesus, “Thy will be done.” Not my will; THY will.
Not everyone is healed. Not every problem goes away. Every marriage is not restored. Every wayward child does not return. I’ve said since the day I started teaching Bible study classes for women in 1989 that faith is easy when times are easy. Deep faith, however, develops from deep pain.
I can’t help but ask, “Why this woman?” It’s not as though anyone deserves the cruelty of cancer. It’s just that this woman does so much good.
I constantly consider the same regarding my sisters. They both contracted the evil disease, and both died entirely too soon. They were nurses, and they were good nurses. People at both of their funerals came up to our family sharing how my sisters help them through difficult days and difficult surgeries.
Yet, God took them despite our faithful prayers. (Despite my begging, God took them.) If my prayers were flippant and I was a Pollyanna-style Christian, I would say perhaps God needed more nurses in Heaven. That’s just a silly statement. There is no illness in heaven, so why would God need two good nurses?
No, God allows disease to ravish the earth. We destroy our living environment to the point that illness is a natural byproduct of our way of life and greed. God gives us free will to weaken His earth, which in turn allows illnesses to spread. My sisters were caught in the trap of progress over health, resulting in disease. In the same manner, God is allowing this terrible disease to attack another beautiful soul.
Despite my questions, my belief remains stronger than my doubts. I believe that, regardless of the outcome, God hears; God knows; God will walk with her; and God loves her more than we can ever imagine. Just like my sisters.
I pray for healing. Again. I pray for a miracle. Again. Once again, I ask God “to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”