I was listening to a woman talk about cancer today. I didn't know her. I just overheard what she was saying. She was telling a group of people about her "struggle" with cancer and how she was very accepting of having the disease because she knew that God was taking care of her and that is was his will that she be all right. She took a tremendous comfort in the fact that God had a plan for her. It was clear that she knew what God's plan was - and it did not involve her dying of cancer.
I felt very sick inside hearing this. My mother died of lung cancer in 2004. She was a very devout Catholic and practiced her faith every day. She was a minister of service at her church and she was a member of a Masonic organization dedicated to the Knights of Peter Claver. She did service to the poor and prayed for people. In short, my mom had a very concrete relationship with God, one that I did not completely understand, but it was very real to her. God was manifested in all areas of her life. She loved him. She also loved life and she didn't want to die of cancer. And she certainly did not want the pain, difficulty, and stress - for herself or her loved ones. I kept thinking "Why was God's plan to let this woman live and let my mother die in such a horrible fashion?" I am sure that this woman feels like her spiritual connection was so strong that God just took her cancer away. Did my mom pray the wrong way? Was her faith not strong enough? Was there a particular thing she needed to do? (Kill a fatted calf, for example?)
I don't know why people get sick and die. I really don't want to think that God is up there granting some people favors and letting the others who beg for his help rot. It is a pretty dim view of the almighty. I also feel like people who say that they know God has a plan might feel differently if God's plan did not coincide with their own projected outcome. Put it like this: What if God's plan was to save you from drowning just to beat you to death on the shore?