by Nancy Backues
It was August, which meant the start of another school year. I should have been especially excited as my youngest was starting Kindergarten that year. However, a new development overshadowed any feelings of anticipation I might have felt: the cancer I’d battled three years earlier had not only returned, it had spread. Now my baby was going to school, and all I could think about was the cancer trying to destroy my body.
The night came to meet my son’s Kindergarten teacher. Early that morning, I’d had a series of scans to determine how extensive the cancer had invaded. But when evening came, I joined hundreds of other Kindergarten parents and pretended the greatest worry I faced was finding the best deal on glue sticks. As we stuffed our grown-up bodies into not-so-grown-up-sized desks, I worked hard to absorb all the Kindergarten information and fit it into the few nooks and crannies in my brain that weren’t already occupied by medical terms or worrisome outcomes.
I recognized the veterans already familiar with navigating the school’s policies and routines and noticed the anxiety-ridden faces of those sending a child to school for the very first time. Watching the stress, worry, fear, and boredom on all the faces, I thought, It’s not fair, God. It’s just not fair!
Those other parents were worried about buying the right scissors or sending an allergy-free snack. They struggled to wrap their minds around pick-up and drop-off procedures. Here I sat in the midst of them worrying about metastasized tumors and trying to wrap my mind around treatment options.
It just wasn’t fair.
I continued to question God: Why me? What had I done to deserve this? Why were other parents worried about school supply lists while I was worried about my future and my health?
Is God Fair?
There was a man in the Bible who had every reason to question God, and he did! His name was Job, and when his life was shaken, he questioned whether his situation was some sort of colossal prank for God’s amusement. Job wondered, as we all have at times, why God would allow devastating and discouraging circumstances to touch his life. Job had lived a life of devotion to God, and now it seemed God was out to get him.
[God] has torn me in his wrath and hated me; he has gnashed his teeth at me. (Job 16:9).
God let Job get it all off his chest before He finally had His say. When Job had finished his rant, God replied. Basically, He told Job, “You have no idea what you’re talking about.” Then He asked Job a series of questions:
Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Who set the earth on its axis and gave the seas their boundaries?
Who cues the sun to rise in the East and commands it to set in the West?
Who exists outside the confines of time and space?
Who can see darkness and light, the beginning and the end, life and death at the exact same time?
Where do I store the millions of snowflakes that fall in winter?
Where does lightning originate from?
Who commands the skies to let forth the rain?
Who tends to the animals, providing for their needs and granting them strength and instinct?
Who taught the eagle to build her nest and the hawk to soar among the clouds?
On and on God questioned Job, and Job got the message loud and clear: He was out of his league. Job had lashed out at God in his emotion. And God let him! He didn’t strike Job down; He let Job have his moment of desperation and emotion. But He didn’t allow Job to remain remain in his hopelessness.
Is God Good?
When your world is shaken, it’s normal to question, or even blame, God. If God really is good, how could He just stand by and let this terrible thing happen to you? But if we base our belief of God’s goodness on our current circumstances, we will only view our situation as hopeless. Instead we need to turn to what we know is true…what is unshakable…even when we are shaken. We need to turn to God’s word.
You are good and you do good. (Psalm 119:68)
God is good…not because our lives are going well; He is good because He is good. His goodness is in His character. When we settle in our hearts and minds that God is good, we can trust that even when things seem hopeless, He is working for our good.
Trust in the truth of God’s Word…He is good. He does good. And He will do it for you.
Nancy Backues is the Community Content Manager for Compassion That Compels. She is an author, speaker, wife, mother, and two-time cancer overcomer. She was given a grim prognosis in 2013 when the soft-tissue sarcoma she battled in 2010 metastasized to three different areas. A 16-month battle followed, including chemo, surgery, alternative therapies, and lots of prayer. She now lives CANCER-FREE in Missouri where she relies on God’s grace and good coffee to live out authentic faith in the midst of a mostly messy life. Read her story on her blog, There Is Grace, or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.