Finding the rug ripped out from underneath us is never an enjoyable revelation, especially when we think our own personal world is on seemingly solid ground. Encountering situations such as the loss of a job, a very tight budget, or even just dealing with the everyday struggles we face in our crazy world are all tough things to handle. We can struggle merely to survive them, let alone to find the ‘silver lining’ of hope and meaning. Being a Christian, I know and firmly believe in God’s mercy and kindness. His plan is to be trusted. But lately, I have found my own assurance in God’s merciful plan challenged. This challenge started with trying to find the ‘silver lining’ in the clouds of a storm — the storm of seeing the face of a child with cancer.
Up to this point in my life, I have never had to come face to face with a little one who is carrying the cross of cancer. My own personal situations have been only with older adults. Somehow, this has made dealing with this dreaded disease more understandable. Even with my own mother, I knew of God’s merciful love in the midst of her cancer. I never questioned “why.” I knew. She knew. Her God-given mission in this world was finished. Even though her cross of cancer was a struggle to carry, she knew her suffering was to lead to something greater…her eternal encounter with the Lord. But seeing a child suffer with a terminal illness is harder. Swallowing the ‘why’ that we want to ask is more difficult. Why does he have to be THIS sick? Why does he have to struggle through each day? He is so little and innocent. Why?
In times like these, I turn to my Bible and search for the ‘silver lining.’ I seek to find where God will tell me the why. I read a couple of my favorite verses. One is Proverbs 3: 5-6 and the other is Isaiah 43: 3:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
“And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”
I have my answer: Trust in the LORD…trust in the LORD… TRUST. I realize it is not finding the silver lining in the darkness in this tragic situation that will allow me to come to terms with God’s plan for this little one. It is TRUSTING in His plan. I need not understand the why. I must simply trust in His redemption.
Nobody loves us like HE does. In turn, we must trust like never before. We may not always like or understand the process but there are no accidents with God. He brings purpose in every circumstance. It is up to us to respond with TRUST in His merciful plan.
St. Francis de Sales Parish Catholic Church
40 Granville St.
Newark, Ohio 43055