God Knows Our Hearts
“Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10)
How many times have I been asked the question, “How could God be good if He allows all this suffering?” I have struggled with this also. Why God? When my dad was first sick with a brain tumor, my family started to weather the storms of terminal illness and death. Later that first year, I was on a retreat and praying with a Scripture on healing. I could feel myself becoming so angry until I just burst out, “If You will heal all these people in the Bible, why won’t you heal Dad?” I poured out my heart to the Father who hears all and knows all. And when I had finished (He’s so patient, isn’t He) and became quiet, certain that He wished to speak to me, I heard in my heart, “Do you not think that I know his heart?”
Jesus heals in the Gospels over and over. He wants to heal, He came to heal and He continues to heal today. He makes new and restores and fills up and carries, and ultimately, He loves. He proved it on the cross where He said with His whole self, “I love you by laying down my life for you.” But sometimes we translate this into, “If He really loves me He’ll want to take away this physical trial I’m experiencing, and then I will be fine.” You see, when Jesus came to proclaim the Kingdom of God, He didn’t say, “Once I heal your physical maladies, you will all be well,” rather He said, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). He called us on to a transformation of our whole life so that the kingdom of heaven, God Himself, would be made present in us.
So when God told me how well He knows my dad’s heart, it was to say to me that He wants to heal all of my dad, not just his body. He wants my dad to be ready for heaven and He was allowing the cancer, an evil, to be an instrument of transformation, because “we know that all things work for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28). My dad wasn’t physically healed in this life, but the day he entered heaven God made Him new. Jesus will make us new too, our whole self, in certain ways here, and finally, totally in heaven. Our job now is to trust in His desire and capability to heal in surprising ways and in His time, because truly He knows our hearts.
Sr. John Paul Marie, CFR