They were the picture of a perfectly beautiful family. Young mom and dad, baby boy makes three and a little girl followed a couple of years later. This week they announced their son had been diagnosed with Leukemia. Arrangements were made for time off from work and a family member to care for their toddler daughter. The next month will be spent watching, waiting, hoping the chemotherapy does its job and kills the cancer. I wonder, are they screaming at God, “Why?”
I’ll never forget the day I heard about her stroke. The young mom of three girls who live on my street started her day like any other, helping her girls get ready for their day. As she went to her own room to get dressed before driving them to school, something went horribly wrong.
Flash forward to three years later: she is happy to be home, but she is permanently disabled. No longer able to walk without a cane. Her left arm is so weak she has to rest it on the purse she wears across her body. Her wit and communication skills are still intact, but her body is a shadow of her former self. This week she shared with me that on her dark and difficult days, she wants to scream at God, “Why?” Not just why did this happen, but why did God leave her here to suffer? And then she cries out to God for mercy and strength.
Even at seven years old, the little boy is a standout athlete. He can dominate at baseball and soccer in the same day, no problem. He is in an immersion Spanish program at this school, and has traveled to Nicaragua with his family on work and witness trips, sharing God’s love as he plays with the local children. Already a survivor of two types of cancer, last week his family got news that the cancer he had as a newborn has returned with too many tumors to count. Last Tuesday, his eye had to be removed. His parents are gracious Christ-followers and although they admit to being in turmoil, they are leaning in to Jesus with the hope they profess. I, on the other hand, can’t help but ask God, “Why?”
One thing these friends of mine all have in common: HOPE.
They don’t hope God will show up, they have THE HOPE that He will. With anxious expectation, they are fully expecting Jesus to show up in their situations. In spite of their dark days, my friends cry out to God to meet them in their time of crisis. And you know what? Jesus himself has slipped behind the curtain and has entered the very holy of holies where he talks to his father on our behalf.
Even in their extreme circumstances, they know that hopelessness always makes the soul sick, and that would make an already dark situation even more unbearable. They know that the most high God is not surprised by their situation. They know that God is not having a bad day. He’s got this.
Yes, against all odds, their very souls are anchored in the hope that Jesus will meet them in their need. And He has. And He will.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.” Hebrews 6:19-20