I woke up this morning with a need to talk to You, Lord. I saw this interview with Stephen Fry a couple of days ago and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. He was asked what would he say to You. His response: “I’ll say, bone cancer in children, what’s that about? How dare you? How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault? It’s not right, it’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain. That’s what I would say.” I’ve heard the interview before but didn’t know what to say or think or do. Seeing the interview reposted a few days ago, I watched it again. I could see the hurt and pain and anger behind Mr. Fry’s words, but all I could think is what I heard in that movie I watched yesterday, In-Lawfully Yours. The pastor in the movie kept saying you can’t be angry with someone you don’t believe in.
This time, I would like to address his remarks. First off, that world he said You created Lord, where there is misery that is not our fault. You didn’t create a world with injustice and pain. You didn’t created a world filled with sin. You didn’t create us with malice. You created the Garden of Eden. You created perfection. You created beauty and life. You also gave us free will and asked us not to eat from one singular tree. But we chose that tree. We keep choosing that tree. We had the option of staying in the Garden of Eden or that tree and we pick that tree every single time. We’re all prodigal children walking away from You because we think we know better or can find better.
Now, about cancer. I don’t know why kids get cancer or anyone gets cancer for that matter. But I do know, You, God are still good. Lord, You have a purpose. You have a plan. I have a narrow and focused view of the world. I can only see what is right in front of me. But, Lord, You have an eternity plan. You are all-seeing. When I look, I can certainly see that cancer is bad, but that doesn’t mean You are. When I look, I can certainly see that pain and death is bad, but that doesn’t mean You are. When I look, I can certainly ask why my friend had to die so young or why my grandma had to suffer, but that doesn’t mean You are bad. You have this glorious plan that covers all time and all things. There is a reason, though sometimes I can’t see it or understand it. Nicole Reed said: “Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.” Maybe You were protecting us from something else or teaching us something or maybe one thing had to happen so that something else would like a domino effect. I can’t begin to understand Your plan. Your ways are not my ways. My brain can’t begin to wrap around what You see. There was a teacher in Tennessee that had cancer and was sitting at home when the entire school and faculty showed up in his driveway to praise You with him. When I look, I can certainly see Your hand in everything around me. When I look, I can certainly see Your goodness.
“Questions of this world, someday will be known.”
In bible study last week, we finished Stronger by Angela Thomas-Pharr. We watched the last video, God Is Stronger Than Every Broken Thing In Me. In the video, she tells a story about her 8 year old son running a 5k. At the end of the race, she was waiting at the finish line cheering: “bring it on home, baby, bring it on home.” So, he runs back to her crying and saying: “Mama, it was so hard.” She responded with: “but, baby, you did it!” Then he said: “that last part was all uphill.” She said that’s how she saw Heaven when our time is done. She saw Angels cheering: “bring it on home” and You, God waiting with open arms saying: “baby girl, you’re home.” Lord, sometimes our journey is all uphill battle, but You are teaching me to press on, every single day.
So, here is my prayer today. I pray for Mr. Fry. I pray that you heal his hurt. I pray that you open his eyes and soften his heart. I pray that you keep knocking on his heart, Lord. I pray that you don’t give up on him. Lord, he believes in you, he just doesn’t understand you. Lord, I pray that you help him see your goodness. God, I may not be able to understand your plan, but thank you for it. Thank you for the good stuff that I forget to appreciate and to thank you for. Thank you for the lessons from the bad stuff. Thank you for the assignments and work. Thank you for your ways. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your benevolence. Thank you open arms. Thank you for Heaven. Thank you allowing me to run my race with endurance and passion. Thank you for teaching me to press on. Thank you for the grand reunion. Thank you for the great rejoicing. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for showing me your goodness. Thank you for showing me your love. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.