An account was told to me about two men. Both men were diagnosed with cancer within about two weeks time. One man chose to do all he could to fight the disease. He went to different clinics for different treatments, sought all the medical help he could find, traveling to wherever he needed to receive treatment.
The other man chose to live with the disease, and instead went into palliative care, controlling his pain and discomfort. He didn’t seek any additional treatments, no experimental drugs, not even the routine treatments.
Both men lived another two years or so, and died within 30 days of each other.
There are other similar accounts of one person dying and another going into remission and living. Ever see “The Bucket List”? It’s the account of two men, one a humble family man, a mechanic, and the other a rich somewhat arrogant entrepreneur who made a living buying and running hospitals. The difference between the two men is summed up in the line “you might see about the pea soup.” The mechanic just wanted some decent pea soup; he didn’t ask for, nor did he expect, any other special treatment, even though the rich guy offered him anything he wanted.
In the end, one of these men died, the other lived.
A relative of mine served in the Korean War. He doesn’t talk about it much, but one account he gave me was of being on patrol, and he and two other soldiers were in a foxhole. He decided for some reason to run to another foxhole while the other two stayed put. An enemy grenade was thrown into the foxhole he just left, and the other two soldiers were killed. He was spared.
Missionaries have worked for years in foreign countries, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ while giving care and support and education to those who need it, yet they often return home unannounced, having seen little results from their efforts. They may be broke, homeless, sick, exhausted…having given their lives to their work.
If you believe in God, even still you ask “Why?” Why do somethings happen that just don’t make sense? There are a lot of people who don’t believe God will condemn anyone to Hell– eternity away from God.
However, it’s the power of the Sovereignty of God at work in the lives of His creation. His ways are not our ways; His thoughts are not our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) Everything God does He does for His Glory; everything WE do should be for His Glory.
God is God. There is no other God like Him. HE has even given us free choice, i.e. the choice to believe Him or not believe Him. But He also warns us about making the choice against Him, and knowing our weaknesses and propensity for sinning, He made a Way for our redemption through Jesus Christ His son.
God told Moses “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not therefore depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. He has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden. (Romans 9)
I don’t know why some people survive plane crashes while others don’t. I don’t know why some people survive anything while others around them perish. I don’t know why some people, having survived, still refuse to believe that God has given them another chance, that perhaps God has a specific reason for their life.
Except that God is Sovereign.
Sometimes it takes a life-changing, spirit-altering event to get us to the point of realizing our need to have Jesus Christ in our life.
“If you declare with your mouth “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18)
The complete sovereignty of God. His will. Our choice.