A few years back we planned to trip the UK to visit family. I have two brothers and one sister who are UK residents. A couple of months before we were due to set off, one of my brothers was diagnosed with bladder and liver cancer. He died a week before our trip. Why him? Why were we denied the opportunity to spend time together?
A family we know well suffered a tragedy. Our children grew up together. The mother of the family is a wonderful Christian educator; dad was a church pastor and sadly he died of lung and brain cancer. Why such tragedy in the lives of servants of Christ?
My wife, Maureen, spent fifteen months caring for and nursing her close friend as she succumbed to throat cancer. Why such suffering for such a godly woman?
Maureen’s sister is a generous and compassionate person, who has spent much of her life in nursing others. She has experienced two bouts of serious breast cancer and her husband has had a series of aneurisms and kidney failure requiring dialysis three days a week for the rest of his life. As if that wasn’t enough, their thirty-year-old son has been undergoing treatment, including three major surgeries, for brain cancer. How much pain can a family bear?
Judah Levi Brown a three-year-old boy was found unconscious in a swimming pool, belonging to family friends. His mother had been carefully monitoring the children. She was distracted for less than a minute. Medics rushed him to hospital; the prognosis was poor. His mother, father and extended family prayed fervently that he would be miraculously saved. He was pronounced dead three days later. Imagine the pain, the guilt, the anguish . . .
A short time later, Judah’s parents became aware of a similar tragedy with a young child; people also prayed and this time the child recovered. Imagine the confusion, the sense of painful joy for the second family intermingled with an agonising sense of unfairness.
Is God sovereign? Is Christ sufficient? Is He fair? How do we deal with such grief, pain and sadness?