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“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I've been following the posts and updates on Kristy Dykes' website and blog.


Kristy is an incredible lady with a heart for God. She is a multi-published author of Christian fiction and a fellow member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Kristy was diagnosed a couple of weeks ago with a malignant brain tumor. Her surgery was Thursday, Nov. 15.

The good news was that she came through the surgery well. The devastating news is that the primary tumor that the doctors removed has spread to the other side of her brain. The prognosis is grim.

When our son was diagnosed with cancer, I well remember the emotional roller coaster. I remember telling God, "Father, I just don't understand." I'm sure Kristy's family is wondering the same thing. For many months those thoughts circled overhead like vultures, trying to rob me of my peace and attacking me with fiery darts of fear. Then Jonathan went through a crisis that brought him to the brink of eternity. I sat by his bedside, praying for God to make His presence known to me. Finally, I remembered something a preacher friend told me-- God inhabits the praise of His people. I needed to know God was close enough to touch. So I began to praise Him. I sang praise choruses and praised Him for who He is. Peace was drawn over me like a warm blanket.

Faith is not the weapon of choice when we are battling fear. I am humanly fallible, and my faith is weak at best. I cannot conjure up enough faith in my own strength to defeat fear. But when I praise God, I am welcoming His presence, and where God is, fear has to flee.

Afterward, I thought again about those vultures. I told God once more, "Father, I don't understand. I don't understand my son's disease, or his pain, or my fear, or why he has be chosen for this cancer journey." But when I remembered His peace with which He embraced me that night at Jonathan's bedside, I realized something. God does not call us to understand. He simply calls us to trust Him. It's not just a matter of not understanding. I can't. And I don't have to. His ways are far above my ways, and His plan is far beyong my understanding. So I will just trust Him.

My heart aches for the Dykes family. I know the pain they are going through. My prayer is that they would know the same peace with which God comforted me. God's love, and mercy, and peace are so far-reaching, and so complete, we cannot measure the width, the length, the height or the depth. God grant this all-consuming love to Kristy and her family.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.

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