Why doesn’t God just heal her? He could, you know. In the Bible he healed all kinds of sicknesses . . . even raised people from the dead. All it would take is one word and Layla’s cancer would be gone. One word and ALL cancer could be gone. And AIDS, tumors, hunger, divorce, war, rape and murder as well. If I were God (scary though that may be), I think I’d be inclined to take all these wrongs and make them right. Every person would live a healthy, prosperous, joy-filled life til the age of 87, then die peacefully in their sleep and go to be with Jesus.
But I know me. If I knew I had 87 guaranteed years, I would live 86 years and 364 days primarily for myself. The night before my time was up, I’d get to my knees and get things squared away with God. Truth be told, it’s often the uncertainties of life and the ugliness of the world that forces me to deal with the deeper spiritual things NOW rather than later. There’s a passage in the Bible that says “Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may gain hearts of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) I’m still praying that God will do a miracle and heal Layla, but the reality that she could die at the age of 2 reminds me that I’m not guaranteed to live to 87. I may not make it to 50. I may not make it to tomorrow. I need to have my spiritual house in order TODAY.
The Bible tells a story about a man who was so consumed with worldly riches and pleasures that he failed to take time to tend to his relationship with God. He had made all kinds of plans for the years of his life that lay ahead . . . but those years never came. That night he died in his sleep. The word God used to describe him was “Fool”.
I’ll be honest – it hasn’t been easy watching Layla struggle the way she has. I’ve been there up close and personal when she was throwing up bile and crying out in pain. I’ve watched her beautiful face and body slowly wither away into skin and bones. I’ve cried out “why God?” just like you. But I always come back to the same truth: God is good. Even in this terrible situation, we have the promise and confidence that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” (Romans 8:28). Layla’s journey, difficult though it has been, has done so much good. She has reminded us to treasure every day, because each one may be our last. She has reminded us to seek after eternal things, because the earthly ones ultimately don’t last. She has reminded me not to make an eternal “fool” of myself. Thank you God, even for the struggles.
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”