Results tagged “cancer” from Reformation21 Blog

Running the Race of Redemption

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John Cain.jpg"If I had died in the line of duty, I don't think that I would have come to Christ. If I had been shot, I would have worn that as a badge of heroism. But when God gave me cancer, He brought me to a place of weakness in order to show me my need for Christ." These were the precious words of Chatham County Sgt. John Cain, who died on Saturday evening after a year long battle with pancreatic cancer. John was repeatedly featured on national news a year prior for helping a battered marathon runner finish a race. Within a month, John was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After his diagnosis, John entered a race--a race in which he acknowledged his need for Christ to carry him across the finish line. 

John joined New Covenant this year. He loved coming to worship and talking about points in the sermon that deeply affected him. When I first met John, he would barely look me in the eyes or talk with me. However, over the past year, John would greet me on Sunday mornings with a deep joy in his eyes, even as his body was wasting away. John's godly parents have been members of our church these past 7 years. They sought to raise their children to love God's word. They expressed to me over the years that their greatest longing was for their now grown children to come to a saving knowledge of Christ. After John was converted, he would talk with me about spiritual realities when we sat together. Among those things that John would speak to me about most of all were the work of Christ, the forgiveness of sins and God's mysterious sovereign providence. He would reach deep into his mind to pull out all the things that he had learned from Scripture as a child--things that he now believed for the first time in his life.

John's life became a glorious testimony to God's redeeming grace. As painful as it was for me to sit by his bedside as he lay dying, my mind was repeatedly filled with a sense of the infinite wisdom of God in crafting the circumstances of John's life in order to draw him to His Son. One minute, John was a law enforcement hero, the next, he was a weak man who recognized his need for Christ and his utter dependence on God to sustain his life.

This Thursday, John will be honored with a police memorial funeral. This will be a glorious opportunity for the proclamation of the Gospel. To that end, I am asking you to partner with me in prayer, "that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel," and, that many of John's family members and law enforcement colleagues will hear the Gospel and will also put their trust in Christ.

Hold on Loosely

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The body of my friend Tim Eimer is weakened by what may be a fatal cancer.  His spirit is finding strength in the gospel.  Recently he wrote this practical exhortation:

"In recent years, God has taught me not to hold on to my life so dearly. For what we cling so desperately to, we soon begin to fret and worry about. Fretting and worry lead to fear; fear results in poverty--poverty of spirit and heart and hope. I have been struck this week with the thought of living life generously, of spending my life like the wealthy man that I am because we cannot hoard our days in a bank account or investment. This week I have been writing letters of encouragement, writing furiously in the journals I am leaving to my boys (I'm up to page 115 for each), and pretty much praying without ceasing. As always, I have lavished attention on my sons, but I've looked for every opportunity to praise or give hope to those around me.

"I encourage you to do the same. Spend life generously. If you're a child of God, you are wealthy. Don't grip your life so tightly that you shrink inward and become impoverished and a miser of your days. Move forward today and every day with boldness and laughter and generosity and hope and the power of God's Spirit."