I love it when people ask questions about God being just and loving. I love it even more when Christians or at least someone who claims to be a Christian ask the question about God allowing children to die from cancer. I guess I understand when non-believers ask that question but when someone who says they believe in God ask it I have to wonder if they simply do not understand The Gospel.
I had a huge discussion with a non-believer who wanted to challenge me about how good my God was. He asked if God is so good and so loving why does He let children starve in Africa. I gave him what I honestly believe to be the best explanation of The Gospel that I could. And I'd like to share that answer with you now in hopes that it will ease your mind about this question if you have been pondering it yourself or help you to explain it to anyone who may ask you the same thing.
I told the guy (my brother) that for God to right one wrong would make Him unjust and I then began to explain what I meant in more detail. God cannot right only one wrong and allow other wrongs to go uncorrected because that would make Him unjust.
Think of it in this way....
A rapist, a murderer, and a thief goes into a house. The thief steels all the household goods while the murderer murders everyone only after the rapist rapes the women and children. They all go before a judge and the judge says to the murderer "You are evil and will be put to death". He then says to the rapist, "You did a horrible thing and will go to jail for life". Then he says to the thief, "In comparison to the rapist and murderer your crime wasn't so bad so you can pay a fine and go home".
Would the family of those who were killed think the judge was fair or righteous? I don't think so! They would want full justice for their love ones and everyone who was involved should be punished just the same. They all went into the house to do evil and they all let the other do the evil that they did. So think of it, if God were to stop children in Africa from starving to death but still allowed children to die from cancer would it be just? NO!
What if God ended child hunger and child cancer would that be good enough? Not to the people who loose children in child birth or in the womb. So what if God just ended all children from dying from starvation and sickness would that be good enough for the parent who lost a child by a car accident? NO! What if God just ended children from dying altogether would that make Him fair and loving to everyone? Not to the husband who lost his wife to cancer. So how about if God just ended cancer altogether would that make Him "good' enough for everyone? Not to the person who lost their husband in some sort of work accident.
So if God were to stop children from dying and end cancer and all sorts of accidents so that no one had to tragically loose a love one how could He still be just while allowing us to sin against Him daily?
We think that children dying from cancer is so terrible whilst thinking our sins aren't that bad. God doesn't see things the way we do. We are limited in our ability to see the whole picture. God isn't in heaven only grieved about starving children. He is just as grieved about our sins. So for God to come and start righting the wrongs of the world He would have to right ALL the wrongs of the world to be what we think of as fair. And what is right to God is completely different from what is "right" to us. God is not OK with children dying a horrible painful death but he loves all of us the same so not only is He not OK with children dying but He is equally not OK with us choosing to die by denying His Son and perishing because of it.
We may be OK with some wrongs while thinking others are OK. Maybe you are one of those who thinks that children don't deserve to die but why are you OK with adults dying? You may love some more than others but God loves perfectly which means He not only hates it when children are harmed but when all humans are harmed. This is why not only do some lives matter but all lives matter (at least to God). God hates death. This is why He sent His Son so that no one has to die.
The good news is that while everyday bad things happen God is not in heaven just watching it without concern. God not only cares about the children but He cares about the people in places where they have not yet heard The Gospel. God (as I believe) is stretching out His hand daily to right wrongs but what restrains Him for now is the person who has yet to hear about Jesus. It is because God loves us all that he restrains from righting wrongs for now. Because again for God to right wrongs He would right all wrongs. There is no different types of wrong to God. All wrongs are equal to God.
There will be a day when God will right every wrong. When God will wipe all our tears (those who are His) and a day when all death will end. That will happen as we are told in The Revelation of Jesus Christ in the last day when the last enemy (death) is destroyed. But it is for the very ones who question God's holiness that He restrains for now. God is waiting to give those who have yet to hear and have yet to understand the chance to hear The Gospel so that they may be saved from eternal death. God IS holy and just. But we must remember our idea of just is not His idea of just. Our idea is limited to our own idea of "good". Good to God is not the same as good to us. After all we think that a little white lie is OK while a big fat lie isn't. God sees a lie as a lie. We think it is OK to tell children to believe in a fictional person so that they will behave to receive gifts every year instead of simply teaching our children to fear God and obey His word and be glad for the gift of Jesus and letting the birth of Christ be about Christ alone. You teach your children to believe in a lie, covet what they don't have and submit to a fiction rather than simply submitting to God making them idolators. To God this is simply breaking a commandment but we think it's not that bad.
Do you see how we are imperfect in our understanding of "good". You sin every time you tell you children there is a Santa while thinking you are doing nothing wrong. But God said "Do not lie". To God a lie is a lie.
Why does God let children die from cancer? Because He loves us all. If God came to stop children from dying of cancer He would also have to destroy all those who sin against Him daily. Wrong is wrong to God. There are no levels of wrong with God.
God is so holy and so loving that He sent His only Son to die for not just sinners who we think do "really bad" things but also for the children who die of cancer so that they can live forever with Him in a far better place than this world. God allows children to die of cancer for the same reason He allows you to sin daily. Because He loves us and wants us to turn from our sins and believe so that when He destroys the last enemy (death) no one will ever taste death again.
Remember that the first death is not true death but just a passing from one space to another. I pray that you understand these words so that your passing will be to the place where God is.