Our oldest son was diagnosed with cancer 16 months ago. After surgery and six weeks of radiation, his cancer was eradicated. Given the recurrence rate of his type of malignancy, however, he will be tested for the rest of his life. Yesterday we received the results of his latest MRI: he is still cancer-free. For each of you who have prayed for Ryan, please know that we are deeply grateful.
As I received this wonderful news, I thought, oddly enough, about a stack of rocks I found on a recent hike (see photo). No one would think that their careful alignment was the result of coincidence. If this simple rock pile indicates a designer, how much more does the design of the universe in which it exists?
It’s easy to thank the Creator for his design when it benefits us. Would I have been so grateful for God’s creative genius if the cancer had returned? I’m glad that gravity is holding me in my chair while I type these words, but the same force recently caused a helicopter crash in Afghanistan and the death of four soldiers. I thank God for the scientists who designed the proton radiation used to treat Ryan, but similar intelligence produced the chemical weapons that Syria’s regime is suspected of using.
Scripture teaches us to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). At the same time, if Jesus could cry from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), I can ask my questions and voice my pain. I am learning to trust my Father when such suffering comes. Joseph’s statement to his scheming brothers is becoming more my motto: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).
So I’ll work to trust God in the hard times and thank him for the good ones. Rick Warren is right: the bad days make the good days better.