Back in July, I wrote about my cancer’s comeback. Radiation therapy didn’t stop it. It’s now in other places. Only one treatment option remains, and it’s a Hail Mary pass. Lots of people are praying for us, asking for a miracle.
When praying for a miracle, it’s easy to get desperate and pray things like . . . “Why, God? Why is this happening to Regi? Aren’t you all good, all the time?”
But that’s the wrong question.
The real question is this . . . “God, do you love me? Do you love Regi?”
And the answer? It’s a resounding, “Yes.” He’s demonstrated His love for me thousands and thousands of times. That question has been answered.
When we ask the question of God’s goodness, we put ourselves in the role of judge. We’re putting ourselves in the judgment seat at the head of the courtroom, evaluating God’s performance compared to our idea of what’s good and what’s not. Taken out of context, lots of things don’t look or feel good in the moment. The best dad in the world has to discipline his kid. If you happen to be outside a restaurant and you see a dad kneeling in front of his son giving him a stern talking to, you might think, “Oh, that’s not good. He shouldn’t be speaking that way to that sweet little boy. Look how scared he is!” But you’re judging the goodness of a man whose love requires more of him than what you might perceive as good.
But that dad loves his son. And that love gives the dad freedom. He can give his son wonderful gifts, and he can protect him from painful and dangerous things. He can also allow him to suffer the natural consequences of his behavior and this fallen world. The perfect father doesn’t give his boy Aladdin’s lamp so he can get whatever he wants and escape all pain. He loves his son and does whatever love requires of him in the moment.
Like many others, I believe God is good. All the time. But it’s more important for me to remember how much He loves me. How He’s demonstrated His love for me so consistently over the years. From my salvation experience, through raising kids, taking care of parents, early-stage churches and ministries, business endeavors, and yes, a few health challenges, God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit have always loved me and been right there with me. Whether events are “good” is not for me to decide, nor does it matter. I just know they occur.
It’s more important to know that I’m loved and never alone.
And neither are you.
Scripture: Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)