Tragedy and Travesty

Yet another friend of mine has just been plunged into the desperate trial of having to contend with his child’s terminal illness. He recently discovered that his infant son has a brain tumor, and after operating, the doctors reported that some of it is impossible to reach, and will spread and kill his son within five years. That is a devastatingly long time to have to endure that knowledge, and to have to combine every joyful moment of his child’s development with the deep agony of a beautiful life cut short. He’s living my nightmare, and I am achingly sad for him.

There are few words of solace for him right now, as even the sure hope of an eternity together in Christ cannot much dull the pain of knowing what will probably soon be lost in the present. Should God take him, I hope that the promise of eternity will come to provide some comfort to my friend so that it will be true of him that we do not mourn as those without hope.

Perhaps the shortened life of a child provides all of us with a reminder that all life is lived under the spectre of death, and all life is like a shallow breath, over before it has begun. Our life fails to make sense if we do not combine it with hope in the resurrection of our bodies to genuine life lived in Christ.

How sad and angry I was that yet another well-meaning sister attempted to ground hope in the imaginative and perverse theology of ‘guaranteed’ healing. More name-it-claim-it garbage was smeared across his page where true words of comfort ought to have been. Once again, in a swift transaction, a loose tongue has handed a brother in pain a crushing burden (one that I hope he tosses aside as quickly as it was delivered): the idea that the stoicism of his own faith is the solution to this difficult trial. Once again Christians have slashed and burned true hope and paved it over with cheap and empty falsehoods. Score another point for ‘god TV’.

Nevertheless, despite the presence of annoying heresies, God still chooses to heal, and he has not yet disclosed his will in this matter. The prayers of his people are powerful and effective, and so we are compelled to pray that God would work out events for his glory and give a happy end to this journey for the boy and his family.

I have committed to pray for his healing until I receive word that God has answered, whether happily or otherwise (may God grant me better memory and discipline in my prayers!). Please join me in doing so, as often as you remember.

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