At age 39 Todd Billings was diagnosed with terminal cancer. As a professor of theology, he knew all about the questions of suffering and pain, but to put his faith in action, he found comfort in the Psalms of lament. He’s chronicled his journey in the book Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ and he’ll helps us honestly question God while still trusting in His goodness.
What does it look like to bring your grief and sorrow before the almighty God?
Shortly after celebrating 10 years of marriage with his wife, Todd was diagnosed with a cancer that would completely change the course of his life. While attempting to process this heart wrenching news, he found comfort and peace reading the Psalms of lament. He shares insights learned along his journey;
“God doesn’t owe us a long life…He is not our debtor”
Focus on God’s promises and cling onto them. That is what Billings encourages everyone to do while facing trials of any kind. He reminds us that His promises are good, true and relevant to any circumstance we’ll ever have to endure in this lifetime.
The actual meaning of rejoicing in lament is different than the Israelites groaning in the desert, he adds;
“Lament is when one brings grief or protests before the face of God with an eye to God’s promise”
In a world of mystery, there are many things in life we simply can’t understand; especially cancer.
“The world is in God’s hand, and yet, the world is not the way it’s supposed to be”
As believers, we have placed our hope and trust in Jesus Christ who paid it all on the cross. Though we may not understand the meaning of our storms; God will sustain, provide and assure us with His comforting voice. Bring your grief and sorrow before God; knowing what is written – sin, suffering and death do not have the final say.