This post is a bit different than many of my posts as in it I share some personal details of my life. All my posts are personal in that I write what I believe to be true. I hope this experience helps you see the goodness of God shining through difficult and sad circumstances.
One year ago, our daughter, Holly, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Holly is the mother of our young grandchild and is married to Jeff. Initially, there was hope and prayer and surgery. Our hope for a benign tumor was answered with a malignant tumor but the surgery did leave Holly unchanged. Then there was radiation and hope, prayer and chemotherapy. Our hope for control, suppression, and even a cure was answered this past month with a recurrence of the cancer. This time it was on the other side of her brain. Soon after there were some changes in her behaviour. Chemo was changed but hope of cure is greatly diminished and Holly will never, in this life, be back to her former glory without a dramatic miracle, as seen the the gospels when Christ walked, in the flesh, on this earth. Yes, we believe that God can do such miracles and continue to take these thoughts and requests to Him in prayer. But we realize that it is right to prepare to accept an answer like the answer Paul received when he cried out three time for God to remove the “thorn” in his flesh and the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
So far my daughter is not getting better. What about God’s instruction to His people? Consider 1 Peter 5:7, that “He cares for you,” in Psalm 37:4, “delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart,” in Matthew 6:34, “do not worry about tomorrow,” in Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God,” in Matthew 7:7, “ask and it will be given unto you,” along with many more similar passages given to the people of God. I have no doubt that Holly loves the Lord Jesus Christ and is a child of God and that these things are said to her and her husband as well. Those who believe the word of God, given to us in the Bible and believe that God is alive and real and truly does care, believe these things but at times questions do come.
In Matthew 6:31-34 Christ’s followers are told,
do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
A recent experience demonstrated this truth. Holly’s husband’s mother (Holly’s husband is Jeff) flew in to help out with Holly. Two days after she arrived, Jeff’s mom had a spell that appeared much like a stroke. Holly’s sister stayed with Holly while Jeff and I went to the Hospital. When we set out for home at 3 am it still appeared like she had had a stroke. The feeling was a bit numbing. Does not the Lord tell us through the apostle Paul in Romans, that “all things word together for good for those who love God and our called according to his purpose?” (Romans 8:28) One can believe this but, at times, it can be very hard to understand.
The next morning when I arrive at the hospital, there at the snack bar, sat Jeff’s father, who had flown in in the night (of course we had been in communication with him) and Jeff’s brother. Jeff’s mom was pretty well back to normal. She had some tests done but was back at Jeff and Holly’s house the next day cooking supper. The evening before Jeff had called his boss and said he would not be into work. So, Jeff ended up for the next two days being off work and spending much needed and valuable time with both his mom (who turned out to be well) and his dad. This was the first face to face time he had had with his parents since the news that Holly’s cancer had returned. What a blessing!
Prior to this time, there had been discussion and much prayer about whether Jeff’s dad should fly in now or wait until later. From a human perspective the answer was his father should come later. God’s answer to these prayers was that Jeff needed to see his father now. The Lord, in his sovereign way, brought about what was needed, when it was needed, which included two days for Jeff, off work, to spend with His parents. This experience fits with the truth that God has all things under control. It is an example of the truth recorded in Matthew 10:29-31.
Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
What God did by bringing Jeff’s Dad was an answer to prayer. God’s answer to this prayer was not what we expected but it was God’s plan. God is good and knows what we need. So, too, God is taking care of Holly and handling all of the prayers for Holly in a good way. Seeing this small blessing, brought about, gives Increased hope that God is also doing good through Holly’s cancer.
To God be the glory!
I wrote this blog posting a few weeks ago and delayed posting it. Life never stands still. Things always change. I will try to post an update soon.
Here is the link to the update, I Believe – True Faith, Comfort in the Shadow of Death
A related post for those who would like to consider this topic further is – I Believe – Comfort in Life and Death