"How do you explain to him why God allows suffering? I know my kids are starting to ask me. Although our pastor does a great sermon on who God allows suffering it's still hard for me to explain to them. Would love to know what you tell Dempsey."
Below is my reply:
I tend to lay the hard stuff out there- even if I stumble through the delivery/ explanation.
I start by telling him that God did not want him to have cancer. It was NOT God's will that he have cancer. Cancer is a human consequance resulting from a really bad choice, born of free will, in Eden. The way things are is never how God created them to be. Cancer (a consequence of creation being broken by sin) is one reason God sent his only son, Jesus, to atone for ALL the sins of ALL people, for ALL time. No, Jesus' death doesn't cure his cancer... but it provides HOPE despite the trials he faces.
Beyond that, I just start pouring in Truth to his little ears and big heart. I tell him God loves him and wants to see him healed. I tell him that God is sad when he is sad. I tell him that God is using him and his cancer journey in many positive ways- most of which we are unaware of. I tell him that although I don't know the "why" behind this journey I know the "Who" that is always with us. I encourage him to pray when he has questions, pray when he's grateful, pray whenever about whatever because God, like Jake, loves to hear his voice speak what's on his heart. I remind him that we have a job to do- we need to help as many people as want to be helped with what we know and experience and bring glory to God while doing it. I show him that there are too many boys and girls with the same diagnosis he has that are suffering instead of thriving like he is. He desperately wants to help them but his limited 5yr old brain can't quite figure out how to make that happen. So we keep talking about it. I keep sharing my website. We keep praying for open doors.
Like I said, I lay stuff out there... in all my imperfect wording. Sometimes I just let him ask questions and then I ask him what HE thinks the answers are. I want him to not only ask questions but then also think about possible answers. When he gets stuck I give him some answers but ask more questions. It is a beautiful thing, watching our children learn and grow and become wise. <3 I hope this helps.