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glorifying God in brain surgery

December 4, 2009

One of my heroes in the faith, Matt Chandler, found he had a brain tumor last week.  In a very dark time in my life I found Matt’s sermon audio podcasts for his church, The Village Church, and God used his preaching in my life to breathe vivacity in a heart that was “unfeeling like fat” (Psalm 119).  I identified with Matt so strongly because he too struggles against having a love-hate relationship with the church but loves Christ-exalting, urgent preaching in light of the eternity into which we will all slip.

Matt has brain surgery this morning and here is his blog post to his church…

The last seven days have been some of the most interesting of my life. I have felt anxiety, fear, sadness and a deep and unmovable joy simultaneously and in deeper ways than I have felt before. I am grateful for this heightened sense of things. Today at 10:45 a.m. CST I will have a good portion of my right frontal lobe removed. I head into that surgery with a heart that is filled with gratitude and hope.

Here are some of the things I am thankful for in no particular order:

  1. I am thankful for the thousands of you who have prayed and fasted for my health. It has brought far more tears to Lauren’s and my eyes to receive this kind of attention from the Church universal than this tumor has.
  2. I’m thankful for health insurance because I’m guessing they aren’t doing my five-hour surgery for free!
  3. I am thankful that I have deep, real friendships at The Village with Michael Bleecker, Josh Patterson, Brian Miller, Chris Chavez and Beau Hughes. They have been such a comfort to me and my family this past week. Pastors should have good friends on their staff. It’s risky but worth the risk.
  4. I am grateful for the men of God in my life, namely John Piper who taught me to hold my life cheap and to join with Paul in saying “I don’t count my life of any value or as precious to myself if only I might finish my course and complete the work that He gave me to do to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. I’m nothing, I just have a job. God keep me faithful on the job and then let me drop and go to the reward.” Without this strong view of God’s sovereign will, I’m not sure how you don’t despair in circumstances like mine.
  5. I am thankful for my wife Lauren. “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’” “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
  6. I am thankful for my children. Audrey the Beautiful, Reid the Valiant and Norah the Joyous. Being a daddy to these three is one of the greatest joys of my life.
  7. The privilege of seeing and appreciating all of life through the grid of a heightened sense of my own mortality.
  8. I am thankful for brilliant doctors and surgeons who have been given a real gift by our great God and King to repair things as complex as the brain.
  9. I am thankful for The Village Church. If there is a place that loves Jesus more, takes sanctification as seriously and wants to see the lost love the great King deeply I am unaware of it. These last seven years have been a spectacular joy!
  10. More than anything else I am grateful to my King Eternal, my Lord Immortal, for my God invisible. He alone is God. All Glory and Honor, Forever to You O God. I am overwhelmed in these moments by God Himself and the assurance of a future inheritance of a Kingdom that cannot be shaken and where all things are made new (Hebrews 12).

Christ is All,
Matt Chandler

Praying for a hero in the faith, brother in Christ, and co-laborer in the gospel today with a much heavier heart than I thought you could have for someone you’ve never met…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sue permalink
    December 4, 2009 12:53 pm

    My dad had two brain tumors that were inoperable and he is now home with Jesus – completely whole and healed. This man’s faith is incredible and challenging. Praying for him and his family.

  2. josh permalink
    December 4, 2009 1:12 pm

    @Sue – that is so, so comforting. Everyone healed, no tears, no cancer someday in Christ. Mmm.

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