My father-in-law has been fighting cancer for about a year. For awhile it looked like there might have been progress, but over the last several weeks, the cancer has grown more aggressive, and now doctors believe he only has a short time left.
It has been a tough time for my husband and his family, obviously, dealing with the inevitable, but at the same time, they are at peace. A few months ago, my father-in-law wrote a paper explaining his worldview, the basic truths that guide his life. Ultimately, his life is guided by the belief that God is sovereign. He has everything in control, and nothing happens outside His will.
I know people who don’t believe in God, and this concept does not make sense. How can God let bad things happen? Why is there evil? Why would a God set up a system where you have to do everything He says or be tortured forever in hell? There are some really tough questions that are hard to answer, and impossible without a faith that reassures you that no matter what, God loves us and wants the best for us. Impossible without a faith that promises reward for faithfulness. Impossible without a relationship with God that transcends understanding, granting peace even in the worst circumstances.
My father-in-law, even though he knows his time on earth is short, has not wavered in his faith. He has not blamed God or resented what has happened to him. And his family, though struggling with sadness at losing him, has faith that they will see him again.
For those who don’t believe in God, death is the end. There is no hope for reuniting. There is no hope for anything beyond that final moment. All is nothingness.
I don’t have answers to all the hard questions. I can’t explain faith. All I know is living without that faith means death is horrible and tragic. It means there is nothing to look forward to, no reason to live beyond making the most of the few short years afforded us. Having faith means death is not the end. We can say goodbye to our loved ones and trust that all is well.