"God, no! You can't do this! You can't take him! He's too young, he has a wife, children.
I know and trust You can heal him of cancer, Father! Nothing is impossible for You! I have faith You can perform any miracle You choose!"
And I remembered all God's miracles that I had seen. My husband Paul's squamous cell cancer that had never returned after surgery. The time my son John, a toddler, flew down the cellar stairs and Paul stood at the bottom, arm outstretched and caught him. The spiritual healings of women relatives and friends who had been sexually abused when young and had regained love and faith in their lives and forgiven their abusers, made good marriages, even helped other women heal. The miracle that the small city parish that my husband and I had been co-pastoral administrators of had not only survived, but had prospered.
I knelt in anguish, weeping, my heart crying "Why? Why?" to my God, Who seemed so silent. I remembered Jesus' words "My God, my God, why have You abandoned me?" And I understood them in the depths of my being for the first time. Then I remembered Jesus' other words as he cried and sweated blood in the garden. "Father, if it be possible, take this cup of suffering from me, but Thy will be done, not mine." I had to let go. I had to put my child in My Father's hands, because he was God's son first.
If God chose to heal my son Peter on this earth, He would. If God chose to heal him in heaven, I would accept it. My relationship with God depended on my trust that God's ways were so much greater and more mysterious than mine. All I could do was be still in His Presence, sobbing my heart out but willing myself to say "I love You, Father, and I trust You."
I have kept saying those words over and over through my tears in the years since God took Peter home for healing.
Discipleship always brings us to the foot of the cross where Jesus asks "Do you accept your own cross? Do you accept suffering? Do you suffer with me for the sake of the world?" In the end, the greatest miracle is God's gift to us of believing and trusting in Him so that He can heal whatever and whenever and wherever He chooses. I know for myself that He can heal human hearts, frozen in grief, in an eternal winter of emotional paralysis. At the warm breath that comes from His loving mouth, the waters of renewed love and joy have flowed in me.