If you believe enough or are righteous enough, will God take away your suffering?
When my 24-year-old daughter discovered she had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and a tumor the size of a man’s fist pressing against her lungs and trachea affecting her every breath, one of her friends told her that she didn’t even want to know the name of the cancer because it was going to disappear. The friend declared that she was praying for her, and if my daughter would just believe enough, God would heal her.
The friend meant well enough, but she put the burden of being healed upon my daughter, that it would be her own fault if she weren’t healed.
God doesn’t guarantee to heal our every wound on this earth, and He doesn’t promise us a life without trials.
A quick look at the biblical Hall of Fame shows us that. For example, Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers and then imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, probably wondered if his life would ever amount to much, before God opened the doors for him to be second in command to Pharaoh. In the midst of the shackles and the cell, Joseph couldn’t see God’s ultimate plan.
The Apostle Paul was beaten, stoned, hungry, thirsty, shipwrecked, imprisoned, etc., and it had nothing to do with a lack of faith or a lack of righteousness. God never promised our paths would be easy, but He promised to work it all for the good. He will turn the ashes to beauty.
Romans 8:28 tells us “And we know in all things that God works for the good of those that love him and who are called according to his purpose.” God doesn’t say that we’ll be immune to suffering and loss. He promises to work everything out for the best and for His glory.
Our lives with our brokenness and tears blended with our faith, joy, and hope in Him are His masterpieces. He can use the bad that comes into our lives to make us stronger and grow us deeper than we ever imagined possible. We can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves receive from the Lord (2 Corinthians 1:4).
One of my favorite things about flying in an airplane is being 25,000 – 30,000 feet above the earth and seeing the sun above thick swirls of white clouds. It reminds me that the sun is always there, even when I’m earthbound, and storms block my view.
We do not know His plans. We cannot see above the clouds.
God sees the whole picture. The wonders of His plans are beyond our comprehension.
He is there with us every step of the way, even in the darkest of nights. He will never fail us.
And for those of you who are wondering, God worked through the chemo and His healing power to remove every trace of cancer from my daughter’s body. She has been in remission for 18 months, and she now leads a cancer support group Bible study seeking to support and comfort others.
By guest author Sherry Shindelar