Faith and Hard Questions

31 Aug

I’m reading “Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal: A boy, cancer, and God” by Michael Kelley and it’s got me underlining something on almost every single page. This book interested me because I wanted to see how a parent of a child with cancer wrestles with his belief in a good, loving, and benevolent God, while also accepting that this same God would allow his son to suffer. I thought it would be a good book. I didn’t expect it to be this good.

There such a tenuous thread that separates the two ideas of God in our minds, yet there really is no separation of the two – God is God. And He’s good. He was willing to sacrifice His own son for the greater good of saving us – unworthy sinners. So, why wouldn’t He allow suffering on our part if it means fulfilling a greater purpose?

This is what Michael said about some of the questions he had about faith early in the process of his son’s treatment for cancer.

What is faith? What does it mean to believe? Up to that point part of me had implicitly defined faith more in terms of what it is not rather than what it is. So for me, faith was not doubting. It was the absence of questions. It was following obediently without hesitation. You see the obvious problem as clearly as I did. That definition of faith works great as long as everyone’s healthy, there’s plenty of money in the bank, and the cars are running. But if faith is the absence of doubt, where does that leave you when all you have is doubt? If faith is not asking the questions, then where does that leave you when all you have is questions? If faith is absolute certainty, then where does that leave you when nothing is certain anymore?

Lots of truth there. We usually don’t have any difficulty believing, trusting, and praising God with all the faith in our soul when life is going smoothly. But when we hit that first bump, encounter a roadblock, or come to a crashing halt – our faith can grow a little thin and frayed on the edges.

I don’t question God very much. I don’t know why – maybe I think it’s disrespectful to question someone as powerful as God. I also think that’s just my personality – I don’t question a lot of things. I like to take people at their word and am not an incredibly inquisitive person. So, it makes me uncomfortable sometimes, to even think of questioning God – of asking Him WHY He would allow something, WHY he would not remove a disease or prevent a tragedy from happening. I just accept. I may not like it, but I accept.

That’s how I reacted when I first received my cancer diagnosis. I didn’t question God and ask Him why? I just accepted that it is what it is. But way down deep in my soul, there are stirrings of questions. I usually try to squash them down because {for some insane reason} I want to hide them from God. I don’t want Him to know that I have questions about His decisions.

I’m learning, though, that our God is big enough to handle my questions. And if I would get brave enough to reveal them to Him {as if He doesn’t already know what they are!}, I think He would teach me some interesting things. I’m going to work on that.

Enjoy this last day of August and hopefully a long holiday weekend!
♥ Rachel

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2 Responses to “Faith and Hard Questions”

  1. Nancy Arrighi August 31, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Rachel, I did question God when I received my diagnosis and especially when I was so sick going through my treatments. I kept asking Him “why me, Lord?” and “why now?”. One day when I was having my self pity party and questioning Him, I heard Him say clear as day, “Nancy, why not you? Are you any better than anybody else? Do you think you are better than my son who suffered for you?” Talk about a wake up call. I fell to my knees, crying and begging for His forgiveness for being so selfish. As Christians, we ARE going to have journeys that He sends us on where there is suffering. But oh, the joy of seeing His work and His faithfulness at the end of those journeys is wonderful! Will I question Him again on my next journey? Probably. But I know as my Father, He will correct me and continue to carry me through.

    • rachturner September 1, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      Good words, Nancy! There is so much truth in what you say. Why not me? I know so many people who face struggles, incredible trials, and just amazingly horrible tragedies, so why should I be spared cancer? Loved our insight here – thanks so much for sharing!

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