Sunday morning the pastor at the church I attended asked for prayer for a five-year-old who had leukemia. I also asked for prayer for Kyndall, a six-year-old who has rhabdomyosarcoma, the same cancer that my youngest son, James, had. Why would God allow such pain in these children? Why would God allow 33 people to die this past week at Virginia Tech? Most of us would say that all of these individuals had such potential and promise! How does all of this make sense?
â€œI have told you these things, so that IN ME you may have peace. In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have OVERCOME the world.â€ John 16:33 (NIV, emphasis mine)
Obviously I donâ€™t claim to have all the answers. Thereâ€™s a reason for that: Iâ€™m not God! But when I look at illness and war and the suffering of children, I must remember that I am talking about WORLDLY situations. I live in the world. It is a sinful, fallen, unfair world! It has destruction and pain. I am to live my life IN this world as an alien. I donâ€™t conform to the world. I can live true to my alien status because I follow Jesus. Jesus was different than anyone of His day. Jesus obeyed the Father first; brought glory to the Father first. The Father gave Jesus and promises to give ME all that I need to live THOUGH the pain, the unfairness, and any and all tragedies that may come in the path that God has for me.
For me, it is a blessing that God might allow me to encourage and pray for Kyndall and her parents. From the beginning, I knew that it was important to remind them that Kyndallâ€™s path from God was not the same as Jamesâ€™ path. I also knew that many, many people had been used by God to hold us up and now there was an opportunity for me to allow Godâ€™s â€˜comfortâ€™ to flow on to Kyndall.
This doesnâ€™t answer all of my questions about Jamesâ€™ illness and (to me!) untimely death. I believe it is part of Godâ€™s extravagant love for me and His desire that I heal and become stronger through my brokenness. The journey toward my eternal home is important and there are many lessons and opportunities along the way.
God is building a kingdom and He is building us as Warrior Brides. If my eyes are forward, looking to what is coming and not looking back at what was, I will be â€˜rightlyâ€™ following Jesus as His disciple and coming closer and closer in my â€˜right relationshipâ€™ with Him.
â€œI will be with you always even to the end of the world..â€ Matthew 28:20 (CEV)
Remember my young friend, Kyndall, and her parents. They received good news last week that the MRI showed NO tumor! She will soon receive 4 weeks of radiation and then continue on with chemotherapy to complete the one year of treatment. God is faithful!