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What purpose does God have in allowing this anguish?

Mar 27, 2019

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: My neighbor’s little girl is dying — her body ravaged by a rare disease. This has greatly troubled our whole community. Some of us have even commented that it would be more understandable if the disease had come upon someone who had lived a full life. What purpose does God have in allowing this anguish? — C.N.

A: There is a story of a 10-year-old boy, little Russell. He knew a life of pain since he had struggled with cancer for four years. He had been raised in a home where the Bible was taught and lived. From his hospital room he wrote to his best friend who was devastated by Russell’s illness:

“Dear Brian: I know that you worry about me some. When I die, don’t worry ’cause I’ll be in Heaven. And sooner than you know it you’ll be up in Heaven with me ’cause a thousand years on earth is a minute in Heaven. When I’m gone just accept it like you did with your uncle. My mom will give you something of mine so you can remember me always. Love, Russell.”

Three days later he was in Heaven. Some people write better sermons at death’s door than others do in a lifetime.

We often look at younger folks and wonder why they weren’t allowed to live a normal life. There was a young man who discovered he had a brain tumor. When the doctors told him he didn’t have long to live without high-risk surgery, they were amazed when he said to them, “Well doctors, this is a win-win for me. If I live, I win. If I die, I win, because I will be in the presence of the Lord!”

The Lord uses all things for His good and we miss the lessons of life when our hearts block the Lord’s purposes.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)


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