(This was a Facebook response to the suggestion that my daughter’s affliction with Type 1 Diabetes was nothing in comparison to the other childhood diseases out there.)
I mentioned in a sermon a few weeks back that Jennifer had shared with me that Michigan is number two in the nation for child abduction and sex trafficking. She also told me about a recent attempt at a local gas station by a group of men from a trafficking ring. One tried to distract the mother while another tried to snatch her daughter right out of the car.
There you have it. The truth about the planet upon which we dwell. This world eats kids.
Why do I say this? Because it is a reflection of a very real, very personal experience with an ungodly disease that will haunt my daughter (and therefore us) for the rest of her life. It’s a disease that, left unmanaged or untreated, would kill her. It’s a disease that shortens the average lifespans of even those who manage it superbly, and can be surprisingly fatal much sooner than that.
I suppose to answer your question… If I sat down with God to choose a disease, before I did, I’d be sure to thank Him for sending His Son to conquer everything that would make this a world where not even children are safe. The next thing I’d say to Him is, “You choose.” From a theological perspective, that’d be the only way to keep my daughter safe from diabetes, cancer, or any other predatory disease that stalks the littlest among us. I say this because I’m not so sure that God chooses these things for us. He certainly allows them. Sometimes He even moves to cure them. Either way, He is always working all things for the good of those who love Him. It is all being managed according to His good and gracious will—which is that we would be saved. Still, in the end, the Devil ushered sin into this world, and he did it through man. These things are our fault. We’re the cause for Sin and the resultant diseases that emerge as its fingerprints in this life.
That’s why we need Jesus.
I struggle with my daughter’s Type 1 diabetes. No, I hate it. I think I hate even worse that I sometimes find myself in the middle of it all seeing it as God’s fault, and in that moment, I see Him as my enemy. But He’s not. The Gospel is the proof for this. My book, and the chapter above, gives folks a little insight into this reality, and the insight certainly isn’t limited to my daughter’s disease. Any parent struggling with such a thing would receive this book well. Yes, it is from the perspective of a Pastor, but I think it’s important for folks to realize that even pastors wanna throw a punch at God every now and then. In the end, however, I know by the Gospel that God can handle these things and that He can be more than trusted to care for us no matter what we are facing and no matter how ticked off with Him we may find ourselves. The book is in place to walk folks through these emotions and then give them the Gospel, which is the hope that can be found even in the more dimly lit places.
I suppose I’m rambling on. So, sure, in a mortal sense, we could put the various diseases on a scale and say that some are easier to handle than others, some are worse than others—but if their end result is an untimely or unnatural Death, then they are by default horrible. Still, we’re all gonna die, and on our way there, no matter the situation, people are going to be facing off with God and asking Him “why?”. I don’t want to ask that question anymore. I don’t want to think that a choice was made by anyone in this, unless I’m thinking of the events from Genesis chapter 3. I’m going to look to Christ and know that He has it handled—all of it. And when I get tired—when I look at a pile of syringes and know that the pile is only going to continue to grow, to continue to stack higher and higher, and all along the way each of those needles is going to pierce my precious child, and that the piercing is necessary to keep an even more ferociously prowling beast at bay—I’m going to look to Jesus and pray “Come quickly, Lord, for this world is not only seeking to swallow me, but is watching and waiting in the weeds to snatch my children, too. Come quickly, Lord! I need Your help! We need Your help!”