The Only Card in the Deck

During a recent visit to my oncologist, the nurse and I were chatting and the topic of Zach’s suicide came up. She then said, “God will only give you what you can handle.” Dang it. That was probably the 50th time I heard that phrase. And I used to believe it. Prior to four years ago, I’d have said the same thing. And meant it.

Where has God been the past 4 years? Cancer. Suicide of my son. Surely a loving God wouldn’t “give” me these incredibly horrible events. Did He really think I could handle these? Do people think that God has a deck of cards, dealing them to different people? What would be on those cards? Homicide? Suicide? Cancer? Alzheimer’s? Heart attacks? MS? Addiction? Deformity? Mental Illness? Depression? That would be the worst deck of cards ever. And yet people believe that God hands out these cards. I challenge that perception. I call BS.

I am convinced that God does not cause terrible events. He doesn’t choose to heal one person and not another. He doesn’t “need” someone more than us. Everything does not happen for a reason. Horrible things are not God’s plan for us. So why is it that terrible things happen to good people? So many people ask “Where is God during these difficult times? Why would a loving God allow these things to happen?”

Here’s the deal. God IS there when these events happen. He cries with us. He understands our frustration. His son walked among the people, getting angry, feeling pain, weeping. Jesus never promised following Him would be an easy road. But He did make a promise. Everlasting life. Eternity with Him, family, friends. No more pain, worry, sadness, depression, disease, hate. That promise comforts Christians during hard times. This life is not the end. The next life is the comfort He promises, filled only with love. All believers are dealt that card. The only good card in the deck.

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