27 February 2021
 
My Father, I trust you
 
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. Psalm 23: 4
 
During the past year I have twice been given a diagnosis of cancer. First, an astrocytoma of the brain, and then an adenocarcinoma of the rectum. Both times the diagnosis led to deep anxiety for my family and myself, and we were led into deep and lasting consideration of God’s goodness, wisdom and
guidance in times of darkness and problems. A word was put up on the wall in our kitchen, that we could often look at, ‘My Father, I do not understand you, but I trust you.’
 
Our son sent us some words of Luther, which have been of great help and consolation to us: ‘A person in great temptations and suffering should not rely on himself but trust in the words which are given in God’s name. Do not think that you are the only one to have such temptations. Many more suffer in the same way. (1 Peter 5: 9) Do not primarily desire to be saved from your sufferings. But say to HIM, “Thy will, not mine be done, dear Father, even if I have to empty this cup.” ’ There is no stronger or better medicine in a situation like this, than to praise the Lord. For the evil of depression cannot be cast away with sadness, lamentations and grief, but by praising the Lord!
 
We did not get an answer to the problem of suffering and evil, but received a kind of insight as to how the frailty of life and the nearness of death can bring a new dimension to living. Death, sorrow, and suffering are not the final result; they are only temporary truths.
 
Read: Psalm 139: 11–16; 1 Peter 1: 3–9.
 
(The author died while this book was going to press.)
 
SHN