Monday, May 23, 2011

"Why Do Bad Things Happen to 'Good' People?" Part 3: Conclusion, A Personal Reflection on Cancer

This has been something of a series, building upon a post that I originially wrote in the early days of my cancer last year (for those who don't know I am now, by God's grace, cancer free . . . after months and months of terrible chemo and serious surgery). I initially wanted to write that first post, and the series I never got to until now, for many folks with whom I worked (at Toyota at the time, now I am no longer employed there); they were reading my posts, and I wanted to provide the Gospel message for them through my blog reflections. Instead what happened is that I never finished that series; so I thought I would finish that off here and now.

So far my answer to the above question has been to say that: 1) According to Scripture there really is no good people, and 2) that the only frame someone can really answer this question from is provided from within a "saving" relationship with Jesus Christ, based upon loving trust in who He is -- "Good!"
To close, I thought I would just reflect, for a minute, on what this all has meant for me; especially as viewed through the circumstances of my cancer "battle" last year (I have now been officially cancer free since May 6th, 2010 [my surgery date last year], and officially done with chemo for almost a year this June).

As I noted, I went through some horrific chemo; the worst of it were the side-effects, not nausea, but everything else you could imagine (and what you couldn't). After going through all of that, particularly points where I was dealing with body sores in unspeakable places (and in my mouth which we're a nightmare), I can remember crying out to God, and wondering where He was, and why He was allowing this hell of cancer. I remember moments after I was recovering  from my 7 hour surgery, and thinking that God was tormenting me for no apparent reason (even though, intellectually I knew of Job and of course the cross of Christ). And then I remember finishing up my last two cycles of chemo (8 & 9) --- which by the way, the doctor wanted to do 5 more cycles beyond my 9th --- and just wondering why God was continuing to allow the hell of the treatment of cancer; my feet were racked with neuropathy (nerve damage in my feet and toes from the chemo), and I was fearful that the chemo was going to do irrepairable damage to my body (just a terrible thought). At points, even after the cancer was gone by surgery, but still enduring post-surgery chemo, I just desired for the Lord to take me home because at that point I couldn't handle the trauma of it all anymore (I thought). This is the context where the above question (the title of the post) took on new perspective for me. And you know what? While in the midst of it all, knowing that no one is "good," and knowing that the only way to answer that question (the title of the post) was through a trusting, loving relationship with Jesus who suffered for me; none of that, honestly, really provided much for me (except for an implicit hope, by the Spirit, that I ultimately "knew" that God truly was good and loving). All I could do was to try and wake up every morning, and exist. I didn't have the mental, emotional, or physical strength to do anything else but just try to live and breathe.

So in conclusion, answering the above question isn't something that can be easily answered for those who are in the "midst" of whatever hell they might be enduring. That's why, like in Matthew 7, it is so important to build on the rock; so that when the enemy rushes in like a flood, the Christian will be able to stand, because the Lord is able to make his servant to stand (Rom. 14). And that's it! There are no easy answers. We just trust the LORD, and we stand in the trust that the Son had in our stead as our Mediator between God and man, as the God-Man for us. That's it. We will stand only because He stands. We won't be able to give easy answers . . . we walk by faith, there is no one "Good," but God.

1 comment:

  1. "We will stand only because He stands."
    This is a deep thought, Bobby. Union with Christ-some call it the "mystical union with Christ". What you have presented in this post could be a ramification of that union. The Bible teaches that there are many more ramifications-all yet to be explored.

    My prayers are with you, my brother.