Our Temporary Life
by Jim Rower
“Woe to him who strives with his Maker! …Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?” –Isaiah 45:9
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” –Romans 8:18
“Mother has cancer…the doctors expect she will only live one more year.” I heard these words from my father the summer before my junior year in high school. I’m sure it was as hard for him to tell me this news as it was for me to hear it. I later figured out that she had been fighting cancer for several years, but I hadn’t been told about it until then.
I made it my mission from that day forward to pray fervently every day for my mother’s healing. I knew God heard and answered our prayers. He promised, “Whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14).
I knew with full confidence that God would heal her if I was faithful in prayer.
As time went by and her condition worsened, I determined that God was just waiting for the right time—waiting until it was clearly a miracle, clearly for His glory, not the doctors’. A couple of months into my freshman year at college, I got a phone call that I should come home immediately; they expected Mom to die very soon.
My roommates arranged a flight home for me that night. When I saw her in the hospital the next day, she looked extremely frail and weak, and could barely speak. Even then I knew that God would heal her, that He would snatch her back from death’s door. This was the moment for the miracle. Confident in that, I traveled back to school.
The following day I got the call that she had passed. I was so angry with God. I screamed at Him silently in my head, unable to speak aloud due to my sobbing: “How could you let this happen? Why didn’t you heal her? You promised whatever I ask You would do. Why? Why? Why?” I had thoughts that I had to leave this faith; abandon this God that had abandoned me.
It was then that I had my closest encounter with God—the only time that I knew, unequivocally, that God was speaking to me. The voice in my head said, “What right do you have to question me? Where were you when I created the earth? Does the clay say to the potter, ‘what are you making?’”
I felt both extreme fear (that I had overstepped with God) and sudden peace. I recognized that God was in control and my only choice was to trust in Him. Though He had allowed my mom to pass through the door of physical death, at that moment He snatched me back from the door of spiritual death.
That feeling of peace continued for some time. I didn’t cry at her funeral. I knew she was in the arms of Jesus…as was I.
I don’t know why God chose not to heal her—I know He could have healed her and has healed others—I have seen it. I do know that no matter what happens in this life on earth, He has a better life waiting for us in our real, permanent home. By God’s grace, I will see her there.
Heavenly Father, I know that I can never understand all of Your ways and your reasons. Help me to trust in You and follow You no matter what happens in my short life here on earth. Continually remind me that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Amen.