So I was sending this work email this morning, after men's group, and fell upon this video of a woman who has sadly lost her battle (on earth) to cancer. This video struck me in so many different ways that I do not have enough time in the day to post on this topic. That being said, I have shared before that I have had malignant melanoma and there was a time when I almost lost my wife (two years in a row). I understand pain and loss and the fear of death. Let's just say that I have spent a lot of time in the book of Job and in prayer during these trials and tribulations. I have been hurt and I have been angry and I have asked why do these things:
- Why is there cancer?
- Why is there evil in the world?
- Why do bad things happen to good people?
- Why is there so much pain?
- Why do we face trials and tribulations?
- Why, Lord, Why?
I cannot pretend to sit here and tell you, the readers, why do bad things happen. Nor will I ever try to explain your life situation to you without walking through it with you, without being in the trenches with you and/or sharing life with you. Here is the video that struck me today:
Two of the most hardest things that I had to endure in my life were:
1) When I received a phone call from the doctor that said I had malignant melanoma. I just about dropped the phone on the floor of the vehicle and thought to myself, why God? My wife and I had our son, who at the time was 10 months old and my wife was pregnant with our 2nd child while this was happening. The concern from the doctor was my age and the fact that I had malignant cancer at my age. By the grace of God, my cancer was detected early and I have been cancer free now for over 9 years
2) When our three kids were 1, 3 and 4 years of age, my wife almost went into renal failure and was losing muscle tissue daily. The doctors knew the effect, but to this day we still do not know the cause. We went to a top tier hospital the second year of the two years that this happened and even they could not diagnose the cause. We did learn to be cautious around fevers and so on, but to this day she has been healthy since those days. The first year that this happened, my wife was in the hospital for 6 days. That was the most sobering and scariest time in my life. I wrestled, I prayed and I argued with God (all through this process he was patient and kind and waited for me to trust, obey and surrender to his will). The idea that I was going to be a widower with three kids 5 and under was almost too much for my soul to bear. This too passed and God is faithful!
What have I learned through these two heart-wrenching trials (tribulation) was to trust God no matter what. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, BUT Blessed be His name. He is faithful and just and he does have plans for each and everyone of our lives.
I hate evil. I hate cancer. I hate what is contrary to the will of God.
I love God, I love the Son and I love the Holy Spirit. I love those who even persecute me! Is it hard to forgive and forget (at times)? Yes, of course, I am human and broken and sinful. Is it possible to love who God calls us to love? Through His Spirit and trusting His will - it is!
I believe that God gives each and everyone of us a story for us to go unto the world and tell the good news. Does He promise us peace and tranquility throughout this journey? Of course not! Does he promise us an abundant life through Him? Yes He does!
For the joy of the Lord is our strength!
Where is your joy? In good season, in trial and through tribulation?
To God be the glory forever and ever, Amen!