Is cancer part of God’s will?

Originally published Friday, 03 January 2014.

I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighbourhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” Revelation 21:3-4 (MSG)

Four months ago my husband was in hospital receiving a stem cell transplant

It’s hard to believe if I look at him now. He looks healthy, we cycle together, and we’re both talking and dreaming about the future. 

Most of the time, for us, cancer isn’t a daily reality in our lives. And we like it that way. 

It’s hard to completely forget though when every month there are visits to the oncologist and today his morning is filled with a PET scan. 

The first PET scan since his stem cell transplant. It’s an important one and how we find out if the stem cell was successful, and if all the cancer cells are dead. 

It’s one of those things you know you have to do but you dread because you might not like the outcome.

We’re praying it’ll be clear. Is there really any other way to pray? 

Even praying, “Let your will be done,” seems traitorous and risky. I only want God’s will to be one thing: a clean bill of health from my husband. 

I’m scared to admit that, let alone write it. So often I feel that as a Christian I’m supposed to be accepting of bad things because it’s part of “God’s will”.

I believe God is in control. I have felt God holding me from the moment my husband was diagnosed, through 17 chemo’s and his transplant. I have witnessed God perform miracles when it comes to my husbands’ health. But I don’t think cancer is part of his will. 

God can use cancer to fulfill his purposes, but I don’t think God condones cancer. 

I think God hates cancer as much as I do. (tweet this

I find it pretty strange that cancer would be part of God’s will, when Revelations 21:3-4 says that when God takes us home to live with him forever there will be no sickness, pain or death. 

Sickness, pain and death: three words that could sum up the cancer experience for millions of people. 

Yet God chooses to have none of that in heaven. In fact, he hated those things so much that he sent his own son - Jesus - to die, so that we could live forever without sickness, pain or death. 

Jesus’ pain and death were used by God to ensure that one day there will be no more suffering. God didn't waste Jesus' suffering. 

I’m not sure why there is sickness, pain or death now. I wrestle with the idea that a good God can allow bad things to happen. I don’t have all the answers to why God needs to wipe so many of our tears away. 

All I have is, hope. A steady confidence that God doesn’t waste anything in my life - and that he definitely does not squander sickness, pain or death. 

All I have is the hope, that even in the face of things like cancer and PET scan results, I can be carefree before God because God is most careful with me

Ponder: Do you believe that illness is part of God’s will?

Prayer: Jesus, help me see beyond sickness, pain and death to hope that I find in you. Amen. (tweet this

{Share this}

You can share this devotional on twitter by clicking here. I’d also love for you to connect with me on my Facebook and twitter pages or if you're viewing this via email you can leave a comment by clicking here.

Get a copy of my e-book Life, Life and More Life for free. Just subscribe to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday. In the book I share some of thoughts on how to make every moment count, gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. You can subscribe here

- Read more devotionals like this at