Some time ago, an old friend sent me an email. Let me quote some of what he wrote:
“You lost both your parents during the Korean War and had an unhappy childhood. You had to support yourself through school without any help from your family to earn your degrees. You lived a comfortable life for a while but gave up everything to become a pastor. Then your wife was diagnosed with cancer and is still receiving treatment. Have you ever resented God or complained to Him? If not, what’s your secret? I’d really like to know.”
After I received this email, I asked myself honestly: do I resent God? The answer was a resounding “no!”. He mentioned my wife’s battle with cancer in his email but I have never complained to God about that. On the contrary, I’m nothing but thankful that she can receive treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, one of the best – if not the best – cancer centers in the world, I’m also thankful that God has granted her a healthy and happy life for the past 15 years and that so many people are praying for her.
Why am I not resentful or angry? The primary reason may be that I think that all the good things I enjoy are gifts from God, not things I earned. I believe that happiness is a gift, not a right. When people think they’re entitled to happiness, they get angry at God when they don’t get what they want or lose what they have. But when they realize that everything they have is a gift from God, they cannot help but be thankful for what they already have.
Another important reason that I haven’t been resentful toward God is that I’ve seen so many instances where God turned accidents and hardships into blessings.
There were times in my life when I experienced hardship, but God turned those unfortunate situations into blessings. For example, I appreciate God’s fatherly love more because I lost my parents when I was young. I can empathize with unfortunate people because I experienced similar situations.
I have many personality imperfections but God used these to my advantage. For example, I can’t adapt to rapid changes very quickly. So God made me a good planner, someone who prepares in advance. I’m not naturally warm but God used that weakness to make me a person who doesn’t show favoritism and is fair to all.
My answer to my friend who sent me the email is “no, I have never been resentful or angry toward God!”
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