Childrens Cancer and God's Sovereignty Pain and Surrender - Abraham and Isaac
May 15, 2013
In the first few weeks, after our daughter's diagnosis I was haunted by intrusive thoughts about Abraham and Isaac, and I felt like I only now knew the horror of Abraham up until the last moment that the angel turned away his dagger.
There is something so viscerally horrible about cancer and a child, and yet as I kept returning to the Scriptures, its truths resonated with me like it had never done before. Pain, sacrifice, faith, surrender. How often had I read the
story of Abraham as just a story.
I feel it's important to write about this perhaps because it is such a private thing; I am writing about in case it might help anybody else.
I know why Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac was so central to the Old Testament, and yet it also points us toward the ultimate sacrifice of God Our Father in the New Testament. As far as I know, Christianity is the only religion in which even in this ultimate horror involving an innocent's pain, suffering, and death, is shared with God Himself.
In the first few weeks, I battled with my surrender. Somewhat cynically, I said to myself, when I have so few choices, what else can I do but surrender? But I slowly realized that a Christian's surrender is not simply resignation. Stoics and non-believers can do that. A Christian's surrender must be a surrender to God's will.
A turning point for me was a conscious turning away from the myriad of fears and realities that presented themselves, and an acceptance of God's plan for us and the goodness of His will. It was then that I asked others to pray for us for wisdom and encouragement, and it was only then that I could begin to experience periods of peace and even joy again.
Shortly after our daughter's diagnosis we decided to read the entire Narnia series together as a family, and it has been wonderful. The following passage resonated with me from Prince Caspian:
"...Lucy held her breath, for it looked as if he (Aslan) had plunged over the cliff; but she was too busy keeping him in sight to stop and think about this. She quickened her pace..."