30 January 2010

Suffering Well

Matt Chandler is one of my favorite speakers/preachers (I say that instead of "pastor" because he's not my pastor - I just get to hear him speak via the Internet). If you have not heard him, you should. Check it out here. Pick any sermon, really.

Anyway, he has brain cancer and the Associated Press did an article on him this weekend. The Tennessean has an abridged version up here.

I am impressed with him because he continually says what none of us want to really admit, that our lives are not really in our control, but God's. In my opinion, he is suffering well (which I sincerely doubt I would be able to do were I in his shoes).

UPDATE: The full, unedited article is available here.

A snippet from the article:
Matt prays that his friends and family, especially his children — Audrey, 7, Reid, 4, and the baby — do not grow resentful.

Chandler says learning he had brain cancer was "kind of like getting punched in the gut. You take the shot, you try not to vomit, then you get back to doing what you do, believing what you believe.

"We never felt, still have not felt, betrayed by the Lord or abandoned by the Lord," Chandler said.

Chandler never thought such a trial would shake his faith. But until now, that was just hope.

"This has not surprised God," Chandler says on the drive home. "He is not in a panic right now trying to figure out what to do with me or this disease. Those things have been warm blankets, man."

Chandler has, however, wrestled with the tension between belief in an all-powerful God and what he can do about his situation. He believes he has responsibilities: to use his brain, to take advantage of technology, to walk in faith and hope, to pray for healing and then "see what God wants to do."

"If he suffers well, that might be the most important sermon he's ever preached," said Mark Driscoll, pastor of Seattle's Mars Hill Church and a friend of Chandler's.

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