Joel was an active member of a small country church where members of his family worshipped for decades. His sweetheart, Stephanie, was a member of the same church, and after they were married, they worshipped together, taught Sunday School and served in various leadership roles. They considered themselves good Christians, and members of their congregation agreed.
Shortly after their first child was born, Joel was diagnosed with cancer, and within a few months, he died. Despite the loss of her husband, Stephanie continued to attend church where she received the love and support of Pastor Julie and the entire congregation.
Then tragedy struck again, and the young mother was also diagnosed with cancer. When Pastor Julie heard the news, she immediately went to visit Stephanie who asked why God allowed such suffering in one family. “I don’t blame God for my distress, but why doesn’t he help me?” said Stephanie.
“We cannot know the ways of God,” said Pastor Julie. “We cannot understand why the Creator of the universe accepts Satan’s work without interfering, but I am confident your suffering is not the result of some sin you may have committed. Jesus paid for your sins on the cross.”
“Please don’t turn your back on God now,” implored Pastor Julie. “Now is the time to grow closer to God for in Him you will find the strength to endure your pain and your trials. Through your suffering, God will reveal himself more profoundly than ever before in your life.”
“You have heard me speak often about God,” said Pastor Julie. “Go to Him now in your time of adversity, and you will come to know God,” she concluded.
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”
Job 42: 5