How Can a Good God Allow a Child to Get Cancer?
One of the complaints from atheists is if God is good, how can a child get cancer. While this can create an interesting debate about God’s sovereignty and the effects of sin in the world, to the parent of such a child, these debates are meaningless. The real wrestling is in their souls.
My family had friends whose two year old son had eye cancer. He was around the same age as our youngest daughter at the time. They came to our house, and our kids played together.
In a span of a year, their child lost his sight and then lost his life.
God Doesn’t Always Get What He Wants
God wants everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). However, we know that some will end up in hell (Matthew 25:46). No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws them (John 6:44), but still not everyone comes. Did God will them not to come?
God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), but allows for it (Matthew 19:8) and even divorced Israel (Jeremiah 3:8). He called the married couple to become one flesh, inseparable, for it represents Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32). Some spouses are verbally abusive, uncaring, adulterous, and actively want to leave their marriage. Did God ordain this?
Life is messy. What we believe is challenged. Do we come up with a theology that says God always gets what He wants or back away to think God is no longer relevant in this world? This is why the atheist brings up these questions. The enemy always wants us to doubt God.
How Do We Maintain Our Faith
What I have come to believe is that there are things that God wants to do and things that He lets happen. And, the difference between what God wants to do and what He does has a lot to do with prayer.
Paul reminds us that while we are in this world, we live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:6-7). The circumstances of the world don’t always line up with God’s kingdom, but our focus is on the ideal. We are living for the time when everything will line up. And, there will be times when God’s kingdom will invade our world.
There are times when God works miracles. Marriages are restored. Finances come through. A child’s cancer is healed. This is what we are living for. This is what we are praying towards. I believe this is the faith that pleases God (Hebrews 11:6).
What Choosing to Hold Onto Faith Looks Like
There is a new movie out coming out in March, I Still Believe (watch the trailer), that shares the story of Jeremy Camp and the loss of his wife, Melissa. After four months of marriage, Melissa died of ovarian cancer.
He struggled through the questions of where God was in the midst of this. He even questioned whether it was his lack of faith that didn’t heal her. I with the raw emotion we can all understand, he turned to God and questioned, why.
The answer he heard from the Lord was not the one he wanted:
“You are not supposed to know why. That is not my purpose for you. I want you to have a testimony of walking by faith.”
This spurred on the creation of his hit song, in which he sings of his doubts and pain, but the chorus is a declaration of faith… “I still believe.”
Do we believe God is our redeemer? Do we believe God can raise the dead things to life? Let’s keep holding on to Him, for He is God and He loves you. Not everything that happens to you is what God wanted, but He can redeem it all. Keep pressing on in faith.