Saturday, February 06, 2010

Confronting God

Earlier this week I went to meet with the family of a new pt. He was in his 40s, just diagnosed with the nasty glioblastoma in December and now on hospice. He had 2 teenage children and a wonderful wife, as well as a huge network of support from his extended family, friends, neighbors, and church. This was a man who was dearly loved by all who ever met him. He was mostly unresponsive the day I was there and his wife knew it was a matter of time. She talked about how blessed they have been by the help they've received from their community: prayers, meals, fundraisers. She talked about how strong the patient's faith is, how it has grown even stronger as he has declined. He is minutes from heaven where he would meet God and where there is no such thing as glioblastoma, pain, or tears. Then she said, "And me? I just want to kick God in the balls." Imagery aside, I don't think these emotions are incongruous with faith.

The fact is we live in a fallen world. We live with war, disease, and the depravity of mankind. Most of us don't live with those realities on a day to day basis, outside of the occasional cold and jerky coworker. When something truly bad does happen, we are caught off guard even though we're not promised easy "get everything you want" lives. When you're basically content, it's not hard to believe that your life will continue going on that way. A terminal illness, of course, drastically changes one's outlook. We are forced to grapple with what we believe. I believe it is OK to question God because He desires a relationship with us. He wants to dialog about our lives. He wants to know what we're thinking and feeling. So when this wife talked about wanting to kick God in the balls, I thought, "what a perfect expression of her anger and helplessness." She didn't believe that God caused the cancer but she was angry that their prayers hadn't taken it away. She could still talk about God's goodness and faithfulness but that didn't negate her anger about losing her husband. I'm glad she felt free to express herself. We may never understand why bad things happen but God knows and He will use all things, no matter how awful, for good (Romans 8:28).

1 comment:

Courtney Walsh said...

this is a beautiful entry. and so true. I think we often question God when things don't go the way we think they should... but what a good reminder.