I would like to (properly) introduce you to some friends that I have mentioned before on this blog. I have talked about them anonymously in posts called “Praying with the Church“, “Long Distance Community“, “Fellowship of Faith Prayer“, and “A Week in the Life of the Church“. This family was once part of our fellowship, then moved to Asia, and has now moved back to the United States because their son has been diagnosed with cancer. Please take some time to read through their blogs and pray for them and their family.
My only son, Bobby, has cancer. He was diagnosed with Burkittâ€™s Lymphoma less than one month ago. Since that time, he has undergone several tests and treatments (including chemotherapy) that have been painful. He has a central-line in his chest. Now his hair has begun to fall out. Some boys would like this; Bobby does not. He is just now starting to feel better, but next week we have to go back into the hospital for another week so that Bobby can have his second round of chemo. Why does he have to suffer?
Suffering is an interesting topic to talk about in a seminary classroom. It is altogether different when it strikes your family. For me, suffering went from theory to reality in about a minute. With my child suffering, many questions jumped to my mind. These questions included: 1) Why does my child have to suffer? 2) Does God want my child to be healed? 3) How can a perfectly good, perfectly omnipotent God allow my child to suffer? 4) Does God allow or cause suffering? 5) What does all this say about the character of God?
It’s totally dark in Bobby’s hospital room except for this computer screen. I look across the room at my son, curled up under his favorite blanket with Mr. Smiley, Brownie, and Ruff, his favorite stuffed animals. All I can think right now is, “Please, Lord, just give us more time with him. Please, God, I know he’s yours to do with as you will, but could you just heal him and let him grow up? Let him hit puberty, let his voice change, let him be as tall as his daddy, let him play sports, let him learn to play the piano, let him go to college, get married, and have children of his own some day. Please?” Is this just selfishness on my part? I’m not trying to strike any bargains with the Lord–I know that God doesn’t play that game, and neither do I. I know that Bobby is God’s child, and that God is sovereign. I pray that this whole situation will bring glory to God. And yet…I don’t want to lose my son! He is so sweet and cuddly and smart–how could I possibly handle it if he doesn’t get better? These are such dark thoughts. Some people would say it’s “Bad luck” to even think this way. But I don’t believe in luck. I believe in an All-Powerful Creator God who has known every day, minute and second of my son’s life since the beginning of time. And I hear a still, small voice telling me to be still and know that He is God, and rest in Him. This is all that I cling to, and it gives me peace. He gives me Peace.
I hope you get to know them and love them like we do.