A few months ago, my best friend’s little brother was diagnosed with sarcoma.
Not long after, one of our dear family friends found out her mom has an inoperable brain tumor.
Within the week, I was signing a book to send off to her sister who was diagnosed with melanoma.
My brother was then informed that one of his friends has a mom with cancer.
Last night someone told me to pray for a mom who’s husband just went into remission, and she had just been diagnosed with cancer in her breast, lungs, and liver.
Today I was talking with a co-worker who lost her daughter a few years ago at 33 to stomach cancer.
I’m really not trying to depress you, it’s just that I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I’m drowning in cancer. Every where I go, every place I turn, someone’s dealing with a diagnosis. Either their own or one that belongs to someone taking up a fraction of their heart. Every where I look, people are fighting for their lives.
To be completely transparent with you, I’m not really sure what to say about this. It kind of makes me feel numb. And I’m not going to pitch you some mumbo-jumbo about how we shouldn’t be sad if we’re Christians because Christians don’t get sad since there’s always joy in Christ. Don’t misread me here, there is always joy in Christ. But there’s also mourning. And there’s also this place of not understanding the circumstances around you. And I think the reason for that place is because God is so big, there’s a security in not being able to understand His ways and His timing. I don’t want to be able to understand it. Because if I can understand Him, then He’s not big enough. I don’t want that God. I want the God that I can’t wrap my head around, even if that means not understanding everything all the time. It’s all a matter of perspective. We can be afraid or hurt or sad or angry because we don’t understand, or we can be overwhelmed with confidence that God’s plan is so much bigger than ours that we can’t understand it.
Why does everybody know someone who has or has had cancer? I don’t know. Why are children robbed of their childhood in order to fight for their lives? I don’t know. Why do mom’s have to contemplate who’s going to best fit their role as a mother in case worst comes to worst? I honestly just don’t know. And to be even more honest, it plagues my mind, shatters my heart, and attempts to rob me of my joy.
What I do know is that my God is a good God. And He’s good all the time, not just when doctor reports come back clean and everything goes the way we want. I’m not saying that I’m never tempted to get angry. It makes me nauseous to know that someone is going through what I went through and feeling what I felt, and reflecting on what I experienced is extremely challenging. Especially now that I have the ability to actually process it. What I am saying is that I don’t know the stars by name, I don’t keep the world spinning in orbit, I don’t tell the sun when to shine, or the rain when to fall, or each lightening bolt where to strike. I don’t control the seasons and I don’t know how many hairs each person has on their head. I’m not the author of life, and therefore I don’t have the authority to permit death. I’m not behind successes found at the peaks of life, or being sustained in the valleys. But I know who is. And He gives, and He takes away. And whether He is giving or whether He is taking, blessed be His name. In every moment, in every place, in every situation, He is good. And He is worthy of praise, just because of who He is.
“We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us.”