I am a reader of your blog and very much respect your opinion on spiritual matters.
Over 10 years ago I had cancer. The treatments I went through were very difficult, but effective as I am cancer free to this day. Not too long ago they found that I have scarring in my lungs. It most likely is related to the cancer treatments from over 10 years ago, but it could be quite serious as this type of issue is not well understood by the medical community.
This letter is used with permission. Your prayers and your wisdom for him, especially from those gifted in this area, are deeply appreciated.
I find myself struggling with my faith. I am once again faced with my mortality and wonder what it all means. I have been reading N.T. Wright and John Polkinghorne and their interpretation of the new creation promised throughout the Bible. I am trying to make sense of why God needs to let this world so full of his glory, but scarred (like my lungs) with many imperfections and ultimately headed for its own destruction., continue. I wonder why he allows man to struggle finding cures and remedies for the faults in his creation using their minimally developed (in contrast to say Jesus and the apostles who could restore health through supernatural means) God given abilities. What is the meaning of a medical breakthrough to the set of people who happened to have this disorder just prior? How does God view man’s attempt to undo the faults in the created order? Is it futile? If not, then what does it mean — certainly God knows the underlying causes, why let us struggle to find them? Is it that we don’t ask him? Is it that we don’t have enough faith to believe that he truly cares or would answer us on these specific issues? When I was going through my cancer treatments, I always believed that God would help me at the point of my faith (i.e., maybe in my heart, I didn’t believe that God could restore my health directly and that I needed medicine to ultimately cure me — my belief was that God was ok with that and would work with me at the point of my faith). On the other hand, many people have died after the best medical treatments and after much prayer and reliance on God.
I know that in this world death is a necessary element of the cycle of life and ultimately a result of the fall. I guess right now I am struggling to trust God and to make sense of the world as it is — especially in regard to the limitations of the science of medicine.
Have you thought through these issues much?