As I sit down to pen this article, I do so with a heavy heart. I received word today that cancer has once again been detected in the body of a dear friend’s young grandson. Already the little guy has faced more challenges than most will face in a lifetime. He has fought and won the battle with cancer before. I pray he will once again prevail.

He is not alone in his struggle. He is surrounded by an entire family and friends who provide loving support, compassion and care. They have been with him every step along the way. They are God-fearing and unwavering in their faith. They are determined to win.

Throughout his journey, my friend’s grandson has made friends with many children who understand his plight. Some have survived, while others have relapsed and surrendered. Their little bodies could no longer continue the fight.

I am aware of at least three small children who daily face the reality of a life threatening disease. To be honest, it makes me upset and often confused. Why? Why must precious, innocent little children suffer such terrible lives? Seeing adults undergo such turmoil is awful enough. Watching children endure under the same circumstances is almost unbearable. Seeing small children conquer such incredible odds causes my compliant list to shrink.

Given the opportunity, what parent wouldn’t willingly take the place of their suffering child? Such proposals are not accepted by Heaven. They recognize God has the power to change their circumstances but for now, He has a plan unrecognized through human hurts.

While much good can come as a result of suffering, it is hard to imagine any parent refusing God’s healing touch. The only thing that brings sense to the circumstances is trusting God has a plan and a purpose. Otherwise, why would something that seems so wrong be right for any family?

Some answers to life’s toughest questions may not be answered until we discuss them face to face with the One who knows the why behind all things. After all, He is a loving heavenly Father who understands full well what it means to watch a child suffer pain. Until that day, we must trust and draw strength from the giver of life knowing He knew from the day we were born just how many days we would draw breath.

When I think of my little friends who suffer, I am reminded that age is not the measure of life to the fullest but merely a countdown to life eternal. Why would I ever desire for someone to be here any longer than necessary? Once life’s purpose has been fulfilled, there is no need for an extended stay or a late check out. Being late for your first day in Heaven would be the worst. It’s the wait in line to Heaven that tries our hearts. Knowing He is waiting for us and hurting with us brings comfort and hope for resolve in the midst of the pain. We hope for a future free of suffering, whether it is here or on the other side of eternity.