When I was 28 years old, my mom was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer. She was 56. A woman I loved very much in our church saw me struggling, and she told me she understood the pain. She could say that because her beloved father had died from cancer. “Still,” she said, “we should all keep praying for your mom’s healing. Just because God moved one way with my dad doesn’t mean he can’t move another way for your mom.”
I needed to hear that. I needed to be reminded that God cannot be put into a box. Because I am the kind of person who might, when blessed with a tremendous miracle, just wonder why God would grant me a miracle and not do just the same for others. I might even allow this question to keep me from accepting the miracle as a true miracle. So much for faith, huh?
The problem is I want to have faith in a predictable god — a god I can trust to do what I think is best — and that’s not faith in the God of the Bible. The God we encounter in Scripture is a God who is far above human reason. We cannot predict how God will move because He is the Holy, Righteous God so far above us, but for that same reason, we can, even when we don’t understand His ways, trust Him.
That truth helped me when a year and a half after her diagnosis, Mom fell asleep in the Lord. Even in my pain, the Holy, Righteous God held me fast.
“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor?” Isaiah 40:12,13