Hello, Matt. First, I’d like to welcome you to Connect and tell you how much I love and appreciate your heart for those to whom you seek to minister. We cannot hope to reach people for Christ without having Christ’s heart for them.
My heart always goes out to people who suffer from difficult illnesses, both mental and physical, and I know that if I was going through that, I would probably have some tough questions for God like your friend does. I think so often, when we ask the question ‘Why?’ out of our pain, it echoes back to us as if it’s bouncing off the walls of a great cavern, and we suddenly feel so small and alone. I think there are so many times that we don’t ever get a satisfying answer to that question, and when we keep searching for that answer and can’t find one, it’s easy to get lost in the pain of whatever it is we are going through and allow it to define us. But we have a God that personally knows suffering. He knows what it is to experience excruciating pain and to have others mock and point and kick him when he was at his lowest. That same God is willing to walk with us through our suffering, and His love does not call us by our illnesses, by our condition, by our circumstances, or by our pain. It lifts us above that and says we are so much more. The God of all that exists, in His willingness to endure humiliation, suffering, and death on a cross just to have the chance to be reconciled with your friend, declared your friend’s (and every individual’s) priceless value and worth. Who is anyone else to mock him? What God does that for those He created? A good God! And if this good God, who has declared His banner of love over each of us on and through the cross, has the answer to ‘why,’ even if we don’t know or can’t understand the answer to that question, would it perhaps be enough to trust Him with it? When we can’t know the answers, could it be enough to know the One who does when we are able to see His goodness in the fact that He has gone to such great lengths in His love for us?
These are thoughts of mine. Ultimately, of course, it will be the Holy Spirit that will reveal God’s love to your friend, but He definitely works through us. I am praying for your friend, over his cancer, and over your interactions with him. Praying for guidance and wisdom as you seek to show God’s love to your friend, even in your compassionate presence and willingness to listen to him.