It’s the word no one wants to hear: cancer.
We were three months pregnant with our baby girl. My husband had just been offered his dream job. My mom had just celebrated her fiftieth birthday. And then the call came from my mom.
After the call ended, as the tears started to fill my eyes, my reaction showed me the true nature of my heart. It showed me where I placed my trust. And it started a journey of God humbling me and renewing my faith and reliance on Him.
I picked up my phone and started Googling.
What a weird word—Google, or “Googling” in the verb form. Twenty years ago, the term would be completely foreign. The internet has opened up new worlds to us, as well as new vices.
And so you might find that my reaction to open an internet search engine an odd one. Comfort food you might expect. Cuddling up to a mindless movie, maybe. But researching online?
But that’s what I did. I wiped the tears from my eyes as I scrolled through the results for “stage 4 ovarian cancer.”
I didn’t realize it until later in our journey, but my initial reaction—my quick turn to opening Google—showed me that I worshipped human knowledge more than our all-knowing Creator.
I worshipped human knowledge more than our all-knowing Creator.
You see, we were created in the image of God. God breathed life into us and granted humankind certain aspects of His character—love, grace, mercy, justice, wisdom. But even though we are made in His image, we are not God. We have limits. Our limited love is just a reflection of his infinite, unconditional love. Our limited justice is partial, whereas God’s is perfect and exacting. While God created humans with the ability to know and learn and discern, He does not allow us to have all knowledge. The ability to know everything—omniscience—is reserved for the God who created everything.
So when I turned to Google for comfort, I was hoping that if I knew more, maybe I could control the situation. If I knew exactly how her treatment would be conducted, if I knew the odds, if I knew what was going on in her body, if I knew… If I knew… If I knew… then that would solve everything. I would be in control.
In my darkest moment, instead of turning to God, I was trying to be God.
In my darkest moment, instead of turning to God, I was trying to be God. And it left me feeling hopeless and empty. Because I could not see the cancer cells inside my mother; but the God who made my mother fifty years before in her mother’s womb knew the exact placement of every rebellious cell. While I could not make the cancer go away, God—in perfect wisdom and perfect goodness—would sovereignly guide us through the process of chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
Now, don’t think that I’m saying Google is evil. I am thankful for the ability to quickly know how to get out grease stains in laundry, how long to cook spaghetti squash, and what’s the score of the Auburn football game. Google is a good gift, a good gift from God even.
But just like humans have done for millennia, we take the good gifts that God gives us and worship them instead of the Giver. I worshipped earthly knowledge found on my phone screen instead of the source of all knowledge.
During this past year, one of the most heartbreaking and joyous years of my life, God has humbled me and shown me my limits. I am not God. I cannot know everything. I cannot control everything. And that’s okay. That’s good, because that is how God created me to be. He created me in His image with the desire to worship the God who does know and control everything, the limitless God who loves me and works everything for my good and His glory.
He created me to worship the one who does know and control everything, the limitless God who loves me and works everything for my good and His glory.
I am learning to lay down the burden of having to know everything. I must daily surrender trying to do this on my own. And I have found a greater peace than WebMD.com could have ever given me. It’s a peace that says “It is well with my soul” even when the doctors don’t have good news.
Do you know that kind of peace? Do you have an assurance that no matter what you face in life, God will provide you the grace to persevere and have joy? Or are you still holding the reigns tightly, hoping that you’ll be able to make it through on your own knowledge and power?
Whatever you’re going through, you’re not meant to go through it alone. You were created to rest in the sovereignty, goodness, and omniscience of our loving Creator.