Why do bad things happen to people seemingly without explanation?
A defective heart and an ongoing battle with cancer prompted Beth Smith to question why God allows such suffering but nothing can take away her hope.
Thinking back to her younger years, Beth has been no stranger to suffering.
"As a child I struggled for breath if I walked fast and would turn blue in the face. I could never take part in school sports or any activities," she explains.
For years Beth felt miserable as her peers mocked her over her heart weakness and nicknamed her "ghost".
Throughout this trying time, Beth says, "I had loving God-fearing parents who gave me a firm foundation of God's unconditional love which was a great blessing to me. As a child I received the Lord Jesus as my Saviour."
Finding comfort and a personal relationship with Jesus helped her bear her childhood trials and continues to be her strength as she battles cancer.
"Through all these trials Jesus became my Rock of strength. Without Him, I would never have survived physically or spiritually," she says.
Despite an operation in 2002, the cancer returned in 2004 and 33 radiation treatments were not completely successful.
After more operations in 2010 Beth was forced to live without important organs.
"By God's help and the support of my family I resumed normal life as far as possible," she says.
Naturally she wondered how God had permitted this cancer to happen after everything she had already faced in life.
However Beth goes on to bravely explain saying, "I do not doubt God's will or His goodness."
"According to Romans 8, verse 28, I have been called according to His purpose and 'in all things God works for the good of those who love Him'," she explains.
"Whatever lies ahead in the future, God will hold onto me and give me His peace. As Jesus promised, 'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid' " (John 14:27).
She also holds to Jesus' promise that He is preparing a place for her in Heaven and that the suffering she is experiencing now is not worth comparing to the eternal glory that awaits her (see 2 Corinthians 4:17).
"Whatever the doctors decide upon and how cancer affects my future, I trust God with all my heart. Without any doubt He will be there for me no matter what. I can rest in His love, faithfulness and care."•