Regina and I could not hold back our tears and hide the shock from the kids after, one Facebook morning, we discovered that a dear friend had just lost her bout with cancer.
Iva demanded answers, of course, as she had just witnessed the full 180 of our emotions from morning glee to gloom.
“But, we prayed for her ouchie to go away?”
It was all she could say, before her protest likewise turned to tears and an inconsolable sobbing that I had never heard of before. Yes, she knew Tita April because she had been praying for her healing too.
Looking at our heartbroken five-year-old, I saw what many Christians could also contend with in the face of pain and suffering: Should I still trust God despite all this?
The answer is a resounding, “YES.” God is still trustworthy because (1) God knows everything; and (2) God has power over everything.
- God knows everything.
It may be cliché, but we are indeed only human, and can see barely a snapshot of things. We walk this earth as a man walking on a pitch-black night with just a candle, unable to see what lies ahead. We do not know how things are going to work themselves out.
At the same time, God is God. God alone is outside of time, and He alone knows everything from end to end (“I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning,” Isaiah 46:9-10), and how every detail fits in the grand scheme of things. God alone sees the bigger picture, borders, frames, and all.
- God has power over everything.
Through the world and the vast universe, man is witness to God’s immense power of creation and sustenance. In the person of Jesus Christ, God incarnate, man bore witness to God’s power over nature, sickness, demonic powers, sin and even death. Christ conquering death proved that He is who He claimed to be, and the reason why none of His followers never recanted their statements about Him even in the face of persecution or death.
“Actually, Iva, Tita April is in the best place that she can ever be right now because, just like Papalo (my dad), she is already with Jesus,” I assured her after she had settled a bit. “It’s the best place we all can ever be. The Bible even says that Heaven is a place where there is no more crying (Revelation 21:4).”
“Everybody is happy in Heaven?” as she began her questions again.
“Do they have youchien kare (kindergarten curry) there too?”
“If there’s food in Heaven, they’re gonna have the best kare there too.” That was me, paraphrasing in her terms 1 Corinthians 2:9 , which talks about “things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.’”
Iva has so far had two experiences with cancer. As pervasive as this sickness has become, she and Uri are bound to hear more. But I must insist, as early as now, that cancer is not the Big C. That will always and forever be Christ – the conqueror of sin, the conqueror of death.
“No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand:
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.”
(From “In Christ Alone,” Stuart Townend and Keith Getty)