Three of my friends were recently told that they might have cancer; they all had the necessary diagnostic tests done. For two of my friends, the test was negative; for one, it was not. After hearing about the positive test, I felt very angry—angry at God. I went for a long walk and talked to him about it. I don’t believe that God causes people to have cancer; still, I was blaming him. It felt like it was another example of injustice—bad things happening to good people. Why? I asked.


By the time that I returned home from my walk, I was able to drop my anger. God did not give me an answer to my why; instead, he showed me that I needed to ask a different question—a “what” question. Could what God wants to produce in our lives be more important than why he allows painful and difficult  things to happen to us?

What does God want to do in us when we face difficulties? These are some of the qualities that the writers of the New Testament talked about:

I’m inspired by the gratitude, faith, and courage of my three friends. Those whose tests were negative are full of joy and gratitude, but they are not selfish. With empathetic love, and faith, they fervently pray for the one whose test for cancer was positive. It’s far from easy, but the faith and courage that God is producing that friend is giving me a desire to more fully trust God, in whatever difficulties I might face.

4 Responses

  1. Thanks for this. It has been helpful to me. We have lost some friends and family in 2015 to cancer and it has been hard. There is aldo a young woman in Tupper just diagnosed with breast cancer and she has three little children. Thanks again for your honesty and encouragement. I hope I will be able to encourage others going through a difficult time with these scriptures!!

    1. I’m sorry for your losses in 2015; I deeply appreciate your responses of faith, and I’m blessed by your eagerness to reach out to others with these Scriptures.

  2. I think I know the friend of whom you speak, and my heart just goes out to that family.
    I, too, have learned that asking good questions leads to answers we would never have come up with on our own. It helps to pray about the questions, as well as the answers!!
    Thanks for writing.

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