My mom died just 3 months after being diagnosed with cancer. I barely had time to process the shock before it turned into an unimaginable tragedy. It was truly the worst, most sorrowful time in my life. And yet—5 years later—I can truly say that despite losing my mom, I haven’t lost my joy.
It was so hard to process that my best friend was gone. My loving Mama. She didn’t deserve to go through that. She was so sick. She suffered so much in those 3 months. And she never recovered.
So why did she have to go through that? Why did she die?
I prayed and prayed for my mom to be healed. Why didn’t God heal her?
Why did she suffer?
My mom was pretty healthy. It sounds funny to say that since she died from cancer. But when the doctors first started examining her, they were shocked to find that she wasn’t on any medications even though she was over 60.
No cholesterol medicine, no blood pressure issues, nothing like that at all. It was like cancer came out of nowhere. And I guess it did.
You see, that’s just a fact of life in this world.
The Bible tells us in Genesis 3:19 that we’ll return to the ground from which we were made. And in Hebrews 9:27-28 we read that it’s appointed unto man once to die. None of us can live forever in these earthly bodies. And we know that.
But here’s something I absolutely do not want you to miss, my friend:
God does not give sickness.
God is good, God is love, God is righteous, God is just. And because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we have been justified before God. When He sees us, He sees the sacrifice Jesus offered Him, and He is satisfied. My friend, the Bible declares that we are accepted in the Beloved. (See Ephesians 1:5-7.) God accepts us just as He’s accepted Jesus. He loves us.
God does not mete out punishment to us in any form, and that includes sickness. If you’re dealing with some illness today, you can stop wondering if you’re being condemned, my friend. Because Jesus received all God’s punishment for our sins at the cross.
And because of that, someday we’ll be at home in heaven, in the very presence of our Savior, but for now, this world is our temporary home. And this world is fallen. It’s not the original perfect place that God first created it to be.
And that’s on us. Because back in the Garden of Eden, mankind chose to reject God and embrace sin. And that’s when the curse of that sin entered the world in the form of sickness and disease.
She didn’t want to be well
To be honest, I’ve only just truly acknowledged this fact while writing these posts. I think I knew it somewhere inside, but now I’m ready to admit it to myself.
My mom didn’t want to be well. Super hard to grasp. But it was true, for whatever reason. And I can only speculate as to why. I’ll never really know, and I have to accept that.
You see, she wasn’t feeling well for a long time, but she chose to hide that from us. And she chose to do nothing about it. Part of that was her stubbornness. The other part? I’m not sure.
But she was unwell for a while, and she refused to go to the doctor when she knew something was wrong. She had complained of a few things here or there, making them sound quite mild. I kept suggesting that she go to the doctor if it was still bothering her. I had no idea the extent of it.
Later on, when she had to be admitted to the hospital the second time—when things were really beginning to spiral quickly downward—she said to me, “I didn’t realize it was this bad.”
And so there you have it. She knew something was wrong and chose to ignore it. And that’s something I can’t take upon myself. She made that choice and there was nothing I could’ve done about it had I known.
If you read the first post in this series, you know that my mom avoided treatment after she was allowed to return home from the nursing facility. She refused to make appointments or accept treatment that I pleaded with her to accept. And that was ultimately her choice.
I still love my mama and miss her every day, but to be honest, she could be a very stubborn person, and when she had made up her mind, you couldn’t sway her. I don’t know if you have anyone that stubborn in your life, but if you do, you know what I’m talking about.
And through tears, I did all I could to beg her to get the special treatment she could’ve qualified for during that particular window of time. But she refused.
And here’s something I had to realize about all of this. When we look in the Bible at the people who asked Jesus for healing, their coming to Him was the very act of faith that allowed them to be made whole.
It’s just like salvation from sin and hell. I can believe all day long in the fact that Jesus is God’s Son and He died on the cross to pay for the sins of the world. But that will not save me if I don’t personally trust in and receive it for myself.
If I believe that Jesus can heal, but I don’t personally trust that He has already accomplished it— and offers it to me—it’s of no effect.
In John 14:8-10 Jesus tells us that if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father. And Jesus never refused to heal anyone who came to Him in trust and confidence. There’s no record that He ever once told someone to receive a sickness or to remain ill because that was the will of God for them.
My mom did not ask for healing. She didn’t pray to be healed. She didn’t want that. I truly believe that she just wanted to go home to the Lord at that point. Her cancer was not discovered until she was very ill, and she was tired.
She talked with the Lord about all of it, and she had His peace in her spirit. She refused to seek healing, and I can’t let that steal the joy from the rest of my life.
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