Faith in the Bible is faith in God against every thing that contradicts Him, saying
“I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do.”
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15) —
this is the most sublime utterance of faith
in the whole of the Bible.

If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.
 Oswald Chambers
My Utmost for His Highest

Supportive relationships with other leukemia mothers, whether online or in person, have been a great encouragement for my daughter. These moms share a common burden that uniquely knits their hearts together. Somehow it helps to know others are fighting similar battles to your own. Yet recently, she read a post that was simply heart-wrenching. The short account was written by a mother whose child had relapsed. After finishing the entire chemotherapy protocol, her child’s leukemia returned. The little girl passed away only a short while later. That’s the hard part of opening your heart to others in the cancer community. Not every story ends the way we hope it would. When our fellow warriors face something like this, we are reminded of our own vulnerability to this terrible thief called cancer.  With heavy hearts, we mourn deeply with those who mourn.

We don’t talk much about worst possible outcomes when fighting cancer, but it doesn’t take much for our thoughts to go there. Losing a child is every parent’s greatest fear. When cancer is part of the mix, that fear enlarges and occupies major territory.

Job knew what it meant to lose a child. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Job’s story is thought to be the very first one written down, even before Moses wrote Genesis. God knew that heartbreak and calamity would become a significant part of our lives in a fallen world, and He had something to tell us about it.

Job had it all — family, fortune and faith. He was a righteous man whom God blessed and loved. One day, Satan approached God and said, “Job may trust You when things are good, but will he trust You if it’s all taken away?” God then allowed Satan’s accusation — that men only love God for the blessings He gives — to be proven one way or the other. He allowed Satan to bring sudden tragedy on Job and his family. Job lost his children, his health, and his livelihood in one day. He was put to the test.

Like Job, a time may come when we too will face the ultimate test of faith, whether it be with our family, our resources or a personal health crisis. Job’s declaration,

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”

was uttered, I’m sure, with many tears and much questioning on his part. The second half of that very same verse reads,

“Nevertheless, I will argue my ways before Him.” 

When God acts in a way that defies our understanding, He asks us to trust Him — but He also understands our questioning, hears our lamenting, and longs to heal our broken hearts. Insight and restoration didn’t come to Job overnight, nor does it for most broken-hearted people. This side of heaven, Job never saw the spiritual contest between God and Satan which led to his calamity. He never knew the key part of the story that would have helped him make sense of it. He had to trust solely and completely in the goodness of God’s character, regardless of his circumstances. As he argued his ways before God, ultimately he came to a place of greater humility and trust in God’s sovereign ways. Only then did the work of restoration begin, but there would be no bringing his children back. His life was forever changed by what he endured.

I hope and pray that we are never put to that ultimate test of faith with my granddaughter, though we know it remains a possibility. Perhaps it is best to say it now, while we still have courage and strength, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”  We may not respond with the faith of Job if that day of testing ever comes, but we know God’s grace will be made available to us in that hour. Help will come. By faith we also declare along with Job,

“I know my Redeemer lives!” (Job 19:25) and,

“When He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)

Ultimately, we love God not because of what He does or does not do for us, but simply because He is worthy. Someday when we reach heaven’s gates, it may make more sense. In the meantime, we choose to have courage, we choose to hope, and we choose to be grateful for the days given to us. Above all, we choose to trust in His goodness, and thank we Him for the blessing He gave us in our little girl.

In fact, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
          2 Corinthians 1:9-11