WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT GOD’S BEEN FAITHFUL? YOU GOT CANCER.
Today, I happened across a song from a couple of years back by Bethel Music entitled, “The Goodness of God.” The song brought memories of many questions I had during my trials.
“…For Your mercy never failed me
All my days, I’ve been held in Your hands
And all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good…”
A few of the lyrics above reminded me of some hard (possibly bitter) questions I had for God. They are questions I ask when I suffer.
It’s normal to ask questions when we suffer and I know that God isn’t offended by these questions that come from our sincere painfilled hearts. For me, some of the questions have been: Why did I get cancer? Why was I attacked that time without help or defense? Why do I struggle with Fibromyalgia? Why do some prayers get answered, and others don’t? Why do the good die young, while mean people live long lives? Or the less significant, but most popular entry on my question list is, “Why do I gain weight when I eat carbs?”
BRILLIANT QUESTIONS, BRILLIANT MINDS, STILL SUFFER BLIND
Theologians and philosophers have wrestled with these questions for millennia, and still, there remains only theories, no definitive answers. I surmise that if some of the most brilliant minds haven’t figured out the answers over thousands of years, maybe they aren’t for us to know this side of heaven. They say that the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing while expecting different results. There aren’t any answers to some questions. However, I do have a few questions for my questions. Do our finite minds have the capacity to answer eternal questions? So then, what good can come from me banging my head against the wall over an issue that has no solution? What then are we supposed to do with those questions? Why don’t we have an answer to our suffering? Are we supposed to suffer blindly?
QUESTIONING MY QUESTIONING
The age-old, endless questions taunt us for an answer, mocking our inability to figure them out. Honestly, I’ve wasted too much time asking why carbs put weight on me when I love them so much. I can ask all day long and obsess about it every day of my life, but asking why isn’t going to help me. It will only make me miserable. When it comes to the tragic, painful questions, I had to ask myself if it was worth staying mad with or remaining suspicious of God and hold on to my anger, bitterness, or pet doctrines. Thankfully cancer expedited this process because I didn’t feel the time or luxury (lol luxury) to sit in that state for long. If you think about it, both schools of thought require faith: One is faith that God is good, and the other is that God is mean or doesn’t care.
It’s a threat to our sanity to continually ask questions that have no answer.
THE DEFINITION MIGHT BE WRONG
Maybe we should reconsider the definition of God’s goodness or his faithfulness. Perhaps it doesn’t mean that God shows His love only by allowing us to avoid hardship and heartbreak in life. We live in a fallen world, with fallen people. Not one of us gets out of life without difficulty, pain, sickness, and hardships. We all have pain, and what we focus on becomes more powerful. It’s a threat to our sanity to continually ask questions that have no answer. Our quality of life boils down to how we choose to posture ourselves, our beliefs, and our judgments. What we focus on has a lot to do with our peace, joy, and happiness. They say that fear makes the wolf bigger than he is. Our fears grow if we allow them to dominate our focus. I know from personal experience that it’s the same with doubts, anger, and disappointment.
THE ONLY ANSWERABLE QUESTION
Do we choose to see where God is faithful to us or choose to ignore it because he didn’t appear to help us? Just because he didn’t answer my desperate prayer doesn’t mean he’s not there for me, it means that he’s there in a different way. Do I throw everything good about God out because I don’t have an answer to my excruciating question? Cancer afforded me the desperation I needed to toss up the answers that I don’t have in hot potato fashion to God. I decided to build on the goodness that I know of him, that I began to see every step of the way as I called on him. If I had died, would God be less good? The answer is no.
My eyes opened to a side of God I’ve not seen without the darkness of cancer.
Through these hardships, I renewed my assurance of my place in heaven. I got prepared for unavoidable death; it’s inevitable for us all. Do I want to experience these things again? No way, but I’m so grateful for the treasures I received from these hardships. My eyes opened to a side of God I’ve not seen without the darkness of cancer. At that point, nothing else could have restored my faith in humanity. I received kindness and love from God and people that I hadn’t had in a long time and got to know a loving, mighty, funny, brilliant, and powerful God. I got to see him working in my life throughout this cancer journey. I’m looking forward to sharing these events. I can honestly say that I now sing that song with gratefulness. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Him and His goodness and faithfulness to me.
CARBS AND HEAVEN
I believe that part of our heaven’s rewards that we will have a vast, eternal mind unencumbered by the limits of time, dimension, and finite human reasoning. It’s there that we will have the capacity to see the big picture, and we will have automatic answers to most of our questions. I will one day know the answers to my less dire questions too. Such as: If I’m not supposed to eat carbs, why did Jesus choose to break bread with the disciples? Why did God send manna in the desert? Why is bread on the seder and in communion? Why did he say that he was the “Bread of Life?
There are 66 books in the Old and New Testaments, and God mentions bread almost 500 times! He said in the book of James that he will never tempt us, but talking about bread is a clear temptation for me. So there must be something else to it. You think I’m kidding, but I will be studying this. You can bet that if I don’t know the carb answer upon entry to Pearly Gates, (or through the Pearly Gates however that happens) it’ll definitely be on my list of things discuss with God, as I’m having a cup of something on my heavenly front porch.
Here’s hoping you’ll join me there one day, but I appreciate you joining me today. Take a moment with this song in the link below, and let it wash over you as you think of the good things He has done in your life. (I apologize for the commercials, it’s a work in progress.)
No matter what you’ve been through; what you think or feel, God is real and he is really there for you. He’s in the darkness, through the questions, doubts, and fears. He loves you with an everlasting love.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;Jeremiah 31:3-4
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Again I will build you, and you shall be built… Love, God