Someone I know was recently diagnosed with cancer. I want to discuss something her husband said.
“We know this is God’s plan for us, we just don’t understand why at this point.”
Really? God wants her to have cancer?
I don’t think so.
In the Garden of Eden, before the fall (before sin), did anyone get cancer? There was no sickness, no disease. God’s original plan was for none of this to happen. The introduction of sin to the world was not just a moral thing, the Bible is clear that it affected all of creation. This means nature, this means the physical world. This means the introduction of illness. Now I don’t think cancer sprung up all of a sudden, but we know, over time, different diseases develop in various ways, and cancer is one of those. There is no way God plans for anyone to have cancer, and to say otherwise is pretty tragic. If you believe that God gives people cancer, what does that say about God? What is his character like? If everything is his plan, does that mean he plans for people to be raped? And for others to be rapists? To say God plans for people to have cancer contradicts the Bible. No where in the Bible does it say anything of the sort.
In a world where we all have free will, God’s desires do not always go according to plan. Our free will means that we choose against him fairly often, therefore what happens is not his plan. He knows it’s going to happen, but it’s not his desire.
I think what my friend’s husband said was a common misunderstanding of the workings of God. God can create good out of awful circumstances. He can use this tragic time in their lives to strengthen their faith, their relationships with him, and their relationships with each other. He can use any situation to fulfil his purposes. However, this does not mean that he planned for her to get cancer. They are very different things.
God is all loving. That is the central part of his character, everything else springs from that. He only wants the best for us, and he can bring good out of the bad in our lives.