(July 1, 2003 - for the next in this series of devotions regarding my daughter's cancer click here.)

The recent diagnosis of the spread of cancer in my 14 year old daughter has left me with a greater than usual burden to write something profound in this space - so here goes:

Life happens.

Let me explain. I don't know how this happens, but sometimes and somehow we believers in Jesus let ourselves slip into some sort of stoned state that sees us going through life as if nothing bad is ever going to happen to us. But, eventually an unexpected layoff, a worse than thought medical diagnosis, a loved one's passing, or something else sad, will slap us back to sobriety. Whatever that slap is, it is most often followed by a hangover sometimes described as a crisis of faith. This crisis is not really one of true faith though. Really it is just a staggering that happens as a result of a crutch of wrong and wishful belief being kicked out from under us.

When we believe that God says "A" is true and it becomes obvious that "A" is not true, we are faced with a choice of choosing between believing in God or our beliefs. The Bible says that God loves me and my wife and our other two kids. It also says that He loves my eldest daughter. That hardship, or trial, or sickness, or tragedy will never wash up upon the shores of our life is nowhere written in the Bible. I know this for sure because if it did our present life would be proof that the Bible was lying.

Which brings me back to "life happens." The reality of the Christian life is that in this world Christians share the road with drunk drivers, breath airborne chemicals and germs, get bitten by West Nile infected mosquitoes, lose their jobs to downsizing, and experience contact with many other woe causing elements and events that make up the human experience on earth. The Bible contains no promise that "life" will not happen to us. However, it does contain promises that God is with us (Psalm 139) and that He will never leave us (Matthew 28:20, John 14:18, Hebrews 13:5). Yes, life happens but God is with us. He is there with us in the delivery room as well as the x-ray room. He is there when we marry and He is there if our spouse is unfaithful. He is there when we land the job of our dreams and He is there when it's a job just to dream!

Life happens. Well good for life! God is there, God is there, God is there.

Rev James Snyder videoPastor Tim has retired from pastoring local churches and is now working alongside his wife to help refugees and persecuted Christians.

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