Then I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of holiness, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done. This also is vanity. Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.~Ecclesiastes 8:10-13
We may never know, while living, why things work as they do, or why God has chosen for one to be inflicted with cancer. Or, for that matter, why healings are not happening to truly spread the belief of God’s truer power throughout the known world. We are each faced with the immense possibility (or possibilities) that we will die, some day; however, how?, why?, when?, will we be judged?, is God real? These things come to our mind, not necessarily in this order, and others my have other thoughts come to their minds. I am of the mind, if you have been following this blog, that God is real and we will be judge in the eternal finality of our lives and the universe.
The existence of moral evil must ever remain the greatest of the world’s mysteries: and it is idle to imagine that we can remove entirely the difficulty which we feel in its regard. ~SJ Joyce & George Hayward, “Principles of Natural Theology”
While this statement refers to moral evil, specifically, in general it is also speaking of evil, as a whole. And of course, Saint Thomas Aquinas’ answer will never be popular, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true:
ALL PEOPLE WILL GLORIFY GOD – those in Heaven glorify God’s mercy, those in Hell glorify God’s justice. Thus, even those in Hell fulfill the very purpose of creation.
These are things that people wrestle with when they are confronted with their demise. They will never experience the scent of a rose, the kiss from a loved on, something as simple as a cup of coffee or tea. Never again will they breath in a breath of fresh air.
But this begs the question, is cancer evil by its own nature?
According to the National Cancer Institute, “Cancer arises from a loss of control over normal growth control. In normal tissues, the rates of new cell growth and old cell death are kept in balance. In cancer, this balance is disrupted. This disruption can result from uncontrolled cell growth or loss of a cells ability to undergo ‘apoptosis.’ Apoptosis, or ‘cell suicide,’ is the mechanism by which old or damaged cells normally self-destruct.” (ref: What Is Cancer?)
That being said, cancer is not in and of itself an evil, per se. However, what it accomplishes is a perceived evil by stealing our loved ones from our presence. It accomplishes precisely what it was designed to do. In a sense, a good cell gone bad, so-to-say. And having gone awry, that cell tends to overtake the body in order to kill the living cells around it.
But there is something much deeper going on with The War Within and that is the spiritual warfare that is waged upon us. Consider this:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. ~Ephesians 6:12 NKJV
And through such war being waged against our spirit, it also attacks our beliefs and our faith. We come to a point of doubting ourselves and God…or for that matter, our very belief in God. Which is troublesome, in that, many believe that doubt to be sinful. But I would contend that doubt is but a test of our very faith and moral fiber. (ref: On Christian Doubt, I’m A Doubting Thomas) Sometimes the only way to strengthen your faith is to actually test it and push it’s very limits. Our God is a big enough God that He can understand our troubles, and Jesus very well can…since, Jesus was God in human form.
IF you believe in God, then you believe miracles are possible. IF you believe in God, then you believe that He drives us to do something better with ourselves. (i.e., fulfilling a purpose, glorifying Him, etc.) IF you believe in God, then you believe He is in control of all things for His glory. While we may not understand it, at the time of it’s happening, but we can trust His judgement. IF you believe in God, then you believe He will strengthen you in your time of need.
But there is another War Within…that being the growth of the cancer cluster itself. This is the battle for your life and for your faith, at the same time. While pondering and thinking on the one you may neglect the other. They are integral, in a manner of speaking. The cancer, or battle for your life, will test your faith, your very belief in God and the bible. And the beliefs you hold to be true and right will test the very fiber of your belief(s) about your own life. Man is a fearsome & a fearful animal; but in this matter, he is always fearful of the unknown(s) in his life.
While going through this very battle for your life, you may experience the very test of your life. You will see what your are made of, shortcomings included. We each experience these things in various ways, but cancer becomes a familial test of strength. Such as:
- Is family really important in my life?
- Is God first and foremost in my life?
- Are they really my family?
- Are they really my friends?
Now the question is this, which do you have control over? Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery are between the surgeon and the insurance companies. On the other hand, on the spiritual side of life it is between you and your Creator. Just as with sin, it is for you to rule over!
If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” ~Genesis 4:7 NKJV
We must rule over and control our minds, thoughts, and presence all for God’s glory! For our purpose is to glorify God, hence we must control ourselves in all situations.
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May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD