But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have... (1 Peter 3:15)
My Mom has a tumor in her chest. It's cancer. We found it almost a year ago (3 weeks after E was born). She has had chemo, surgery, and radiation. The tumor shrank some, was partially removed, and then, thanks to radiation, stopped growing. Hooray! She'll get another scan in 3 months to be sure that it hasn't grown any more.
So, to sum it up, Mom has a hopefully-dead tumor hanging out in her chest. (That's the extremely short version.)
Surprisingly, I'm at peace with Mom's cancer. It's dumb, and I'd prefer for my Mom to NOT have cancer, but I'm ok. My problem has been what to say if/when people ask me why a good God would allow my Mom to have cancer. (This is a perfectly valid question, because for those of you that don't know her, she's a pretty AH-MAZING lady. Try not to be too jealous. I'm sure you have a nice Mom, too. If so, then you totally appreciate where I'm coming from here.)
Honestly, for the last few weeks, that question has bothered me, because I've not been able to reconcile the two in a logical way. God is good, and He loves us. Mom has cancer. Hmm...
I know He's good. I know He's sovereign. I know He allowed us to find it. Mom is doing ok (minus the dormant tumor-thing).
Anyway, here's my answer for now*. *Answer subject to change as I grow closer to God.
Contrary to what lots of popular Christian speakers have said, God does NOT "love me and have a wonderful plan for my life" on my terms. He does have a wonderful plan. He does love me. No doubt there - He sent his ONLY SON to die FOR ME so we could be reconciled. He makes my paths straight, and He cares for me, and He protects me from evil.
...His plan is bigger than mine, and He will NOT move Heaven & Earth to work according to my plan if it's not best in HIS plan. In a lot of things, our "good" plans overlap. But sometimes, sin sneaks in and messes with my plan. Honestly, though, hard stuff doesn't make me question God's goodness (my perception of God, maybe), because it could be infinitely worse. It's only by His grace that we haven't been left totally to our own sinfulness to head straight to Hell in a hand basket right now. He is good, and every good and perfect gift is from Him (James 1:17). So, I thank Him for His good gifts, and when the consequences of the sin of the entire human race get personal, I hope and pray for Him to redeem it as best He can according to His plan. Sometimes, my plan will get nixed, and crummy stuff will happen, but, man! I am so thankful that the full consequences of my sin are not only generally held at bay, but they are genuinely paid for with the blood of Christ.
Here in the death of Christ, I live, and in His power I'll stand.
That is my answer. For now.