I am living out the age-old stumbling block: how can a good God allow bad things to happen? The question becomes so much more interesting when you add two little words: …to me? God, how can You let a brain tumor happen to me? Because when it happens to someone else, we can justify it by saying perhaps somewhere deep down where only God can see, they deserved it. Or we just shake our heads and figure it’s too complex an equation. So long as our stuff’s not broken, we have neither the time nor the inclination to be philosophers.
Now I am faced with the question as to why my good God would allow me to go through this. I confess: the idea of a Sawzall going through my skull does not appeal to me. (That’s authorial minimizing. Truth is, I’m quite terrified.) People keep calling me brave, and while I think they’re kind, they are mistaken. I am a woman on a train. I can’t get off. My train is taking me to a destination I dread. While the train speeds onward, I can move about my “cabin” doing things like dishes and homeschooling. Sometimes, like yesterday, friends join me. We paint together and laugh and remember good times. I am so distracted with their love, I forget my destination. Then they leave. I look out the window. There it is again, my head.
There is no brave in things like this. There is no choice, except to trust God laid these tracks and built this train. I ask God to make me fearless. He just keeps the engine moving. He directs me to His Word. He loves me through His people. Each day I receive encouragement. Notes, flowers, verses, meals, prayers, presents—even a song. Two sweet souls gave us a pre-surgery celebration: dinner and a night away. All these acts hug me. God, He holds me. But as of today, He has not administered a spiritual barbiturate. In my present fear, I trust God loves me.
Just yesterday I had a concern. I learned that after a craniotomy, most people can only sleep sitting up. Laying flat puts too much pressure on the skull. One person wrote that she slept in her La-Z-Boy for months. I thought about how much trouble I have sleeping right now, with a whole head. A new fear began to take hold: I have no La-Z-Boy. I mentally screamed and immediately searched Craigslist. I may have prayed. I don’t remember.
Even used, recliners are pricey. I gave up on the idea of one, gave myself my usual pep talk that making do never killed a person. A few hours later, a friend showed up with a plastic bottle full of cash. “Someone was praying over this money and felt God wanted you to have it,” she told me. “I’m sure you can use it for something.”
Here was my recliner money. Arranged before I even knew I needed it.
So how can a good God allow me to go through this? He goes with me. At each step there is a small sign confirming I am not alone, that an orchestration is happening beyond my comprehension. And this morning I got another sign I’ll save for my next post. I leave you with this: plumb yourself as if stuff’s broken. Ask God to show Himself to you. We are so good at distracting ourselves from what really matters until what really matters is threatened.
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? Matthew 6:26