Wow do I ever wish I had an answer for this! I think a lot of us have thought this, probably multiple times. Another thought that I see tumbling around quite often is, “How could God do this?” or the way harder to confront “How could God allow this?” These are valid questions with no concrete answers, unfortunately. At least not that I know of! But one thing is for certain, we all have issues and we all have to find a way to deal with them. I guess that’s kinda life in a nutshell, isn’t it? Where we turn in hard times is huge because that will determine just how it will play out for us. Simply put, I believe if we choose to look down, that’s where we will be. Down. Depressed. Hopeless. Not that we don’t all have those feelings occasionally, because we do. But we need to keep our focus in check. I believe that only God is strong enough to shoulder all of our “issues”, and some of you are carrying some pretty weighty stuff. For real. We have friends who just got some really heavy news about a loved one. My heart just breaks for them. And it just leads us back to this question of “Why??”.
I don’t have an answer, but allow me to ramble on just in case I stumble upon something that might help you! Haha but in all seriousness, I just know what worked for me to help me when I felt like this ‘why’ issue was getting the best of me.
1. Why me? Why not me? There had to be a level of acceptance for the fact that there may not be a “reason” for it. I don’t believe God gives people cancer, I know He can use any situation for His glory, but I don’t think He causes it. So where does that leave us? It leaves us in the perfect position to reevaluate and get it right.
2. Let someone else’s struggles put things into proper perspective. Don’t wait until you hear “the news” Or are faced with a seemingly insurmountable circumstance, learn from other people and start building your faith while things are going well. Then when the bottom drops out (because it will at some point), you’re holding onto something solid and tangible. I feel like practicing my faith before my diagnosis was just that, practice. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t real or genuine, it just meant it hadn’t been tested yet. So that when the real trial came, although there were moments of instability and wavering, for the most part I had a firm grasp on truth and a healthy perspective on life -and death! So learn from me! Don’t wait until it’s you sitting there waiting to see an oncologist or waiting for a radiation treatment, get it together now.
3. Wrestle with God! Ask him the tough questions! Don’t give up until you get the answers or the peace or perspective that you want!! Trust me, God can handle our doubt and our misguided anger at Him. Be relentless in your pursuit of answers from Him. There’s a reason Christ is called the “solid rock”. He is not going anywhere and He won’t let you fall. He is truth and therefore I’m convinced the more we seek Him, the more we find Him. (Hmm, where have I read that before? Oh yeah, JESUS HIMSELF said it in Matthew 7:7!)
4. God will be just as involved in it as you allow Him to be. There’s a choice, are we gonna be mad at God? Or are we going to allow Him to work in it? He will give you comfort and peace beyond all understanding. He will give you rest. He will give you a proper and healthy perspective on it all, but hey, you gotta ask!
5.We will all have troubles in this life, that is a Biblical truth. So what are you going to do with that info? Resenting and blaming God only hurts you. Once we realize that we were never ever ever ever promised health or problem-free living, you can begin to see how God is able to work powerfully in a seemingly hopeless situation. I have never felt more joy or more at peace with my life or my circumstances than right now. Remember, joy is very very different from happiness. Happiness is a fleeting feeling that lasts moments, joy is a constant presence of God and a peace. Trust me, if God wasn’t real, I’d be a basket case of worry and anxiety right now. I still worry, I still get anxious sometimes, but it’s not the prevailing state for me.
5. Who are these “bad people” that bad things should be happening to, anyway? Besides like Hitler and Stalin and a handful of other people, I doubt there are many truly bad people. So then that leaves the rest of us for all this bad stuff to happen to. Is it fair? Nope. But life isn’t fair, is it?
6. “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” BALONEY!!! That phrase drives me nuts. Seriously. That is not Biblical in the least. We are told that God won’t tempt us beyond what we can handle without providing a way out for us. Totally different than facing cancer. God gives me more than I can handle, like, all the time! The point is, it’s more than I can handle on my own. You see where I’m going with that? I can do it with Him, He provides a way provides comfort, provides in every way imaginable. But He hasn’t taken this situation away, so there must be something to be learned here.
Looking over this list, it’s pretty random. I guess it’s just more of a compilation of things I’ve been thinking about recently. Hopefully you all can make some sense out of it. I’ll be speaking at my church on “Can there be joy in cancer?” For both services on Sunday, May 4th and I just ask that you pray for me and pray that God will continue to prepare my heart for this and give me the words. If you are local, and you or someone you love is struggling with a tough diagnosis, come on out to New Holland Nazarene at 9 or 10:45am, I’d love to meet you and hear your story! Cancer has shown me that it is a great equalizer. I have met people of all ages, races, and socio-economic standing who are in the same boat I am and it’s my goal now to shed some light into this dark situation and to let people know that this isn’t the end, it’s the beginning of a new chapter and that life can still be rich and fulfilling and amazing even through all this.