Breast Cancer DiagnosisQUESTION: Breast Cancer Diagnosis - Why Would God Allow me to get Cancer?ANSWER:
Have you just been given a breast cancer diagnosis? Are you asking why? The question "why" has been in our vocabulary since we were children. Our curiosity needs to be satisfied and "why" becomes a way to learn about the world in which we live. Understanding the reason for our lives and those things that impact us seems to be something that can never be exhausted and it is a natural part of our human makeup to ask "why?" The asking is not the problem. However, always understanding the answer is often a huge problem for us to overcome. A breast cancer diagnosis would naturally cause one to ask "why?"
There is a process in asking "why?" It may begin with "why me?" and then sometimes moves to, "why would God allow me to get cancer?" It is a legitimate question. It comes with a simple answer that is not always easily understood. It is key to understanding that no one "deserves" cancer and it is not God punishing or unduly burdening one person over another. When one receives a breast cancer diagnosis, the initial thought is that we are alone in this. The statistics do not register when we are first hit with the "c" word. However, "He sends rain on the just and the unjust" (Matthew 5:45, NLT), and that is an eternal principle that holds true for every thing that occurs in this life. Hurricanes and tornadoes don't just destroy the homes and property of wicked people; they destroy the homes and property of good people as well. The blessings of God fall upon those who we may not think deserve them as well as those who we feel do deserve them. So a breast cancer diagnosis is not because God is picking on anyone. Suffering, pain, and even death are part of the human condition; bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. The real issue is our response and the spiritual choices we make when we are faced with a life threatening diagnosis.
The truth is that the curse of sin at the fall of man in the beginning (Genesis 3:17) has unleashed upon the earth suffering of all kinds. We all suffer with something and we all will die of something. Therefore, the key is to understand that God does not cause our cancer but He can be a source of great comfort and strength in it. When we receive a cancer diagnosis, we need to understand that asking why is part of the process of acceptance but that in the end the answers to why may never be fully understood in this life. Asking God why is not wrong but accusing God is. The Lord Jesus Christ said, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7). Jesus also said, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). God will give us the knowledge we need even though it may not always match what we think we should have. Asking, seeking, and finding are part of the process of growing in our knowledge of God through His Word. Personally knowing God brings us peace in the uncertain circumstance of life.
Therefore, God does not "give" us cancer. Cancer comes from living in a fallen world. However, God does use everything, including breast cancer, to bring us to a greater knowledge of our real dependence upon Him and upon His provision to get through "all things" (Romans 8:28). God does not cause disease but He will use all circumstances that come to our lives to draw us to Himself and that is perfectly within His attributes of sovereignty and righteousness. As an example, God allowed Job to be touched with suffering to teach Job to trust in Him.
I know several godly women who have received a breast cancer diagnosis and they have asked why. However, I have also watched them conquer their questions and their fear through trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ through the Word of God. They did not always understand why they had breast cancer. However, they did find the grace and strength they needed to go through treatment and sometimes face death with assurance that, "being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6). In other words, they trusted in the author and finisher of their faith and had confidence that whatever the outcome of their breast cancer, they were in the hands of God, their savior.