This Made Me Cry
I don’t know if you have followed Matt Chandler’s story over the past several months. I have. In fact, I’ve been listening to Matt preach almost every week for the last four or five years. He has no idea who I am, but he feels like a friend to me. On Thanksgiving morning 2009, God radically altered his life, the life of his family, and the life of the church he serves as pastor. There are some medical and neurological terms for Matt’s condition, but put simply, he has brain cancer. He has had brain surgery, radiation, and he currently takes chemotherapy. Prior to God directing his life this way, Matt fiercely proclaimed the sovereignty and goodness of God in all things. Since these events Matt has only felt the weight of those truths more fully and been given greater assurance of the grace and mercy of God through the cross of Christ. In Matt’s words, “I knew those things, but now I know those things.”
We don’t worship men, we worship God alone. Only the Father, Son, and Spirit are worthy of our ultimate affection, adoration, and praise. That being said, I am profoundly grateful to God for Matt Chandler and the way God has used Matt’s ministry, his heart for the Gospel and the Church, and his tenacity in proclaiming the supremacy of Christ in all things in my life.
Yesterday, Matt shared from his heart about suffering, his family, and pastoral ministry at the Together for the Gospel Conference. As I watched it, specifically the final piece where a group of Godly men surrounded Matt and John Piper prayed publicly for him, I cried. I’m not much of a crier, but Matt’s testimony and this scene brought me to tears. I cried because Matt and the Chandler family have chosen to suffer through this publicly. I cried because God has given Matt tremendous trust and faith in this time. And, I cried because, as John Piper prayed, I want God to heal Matt Chandler. More importantly, I want His will to be done, but if God chooses to move this way, I hope and pray He will heal Matt and be given all the glory. I also cried because I don’t know if my faith would endure this kind of trial, but in Christ I desperately want it to be able to. I also cried with a little bit of joy, because in His sovereign mercy and for His glory, God has risen up a man like Matt Chandler and a family like his to passionately proclaim His faithfulness and goodness in all things, even this.
Before I pray for Matt, let me acknowledge that this was a strange post to write and it may have been a strange one for you to read. In truth, I think I needed to write a little something much more than you needed to read it. Maybe I should have just written this in my own journal, but I wanted to call your attention to the video (below) and to the example of an humble, selfless, Godly man and pastor suffering well for the glory of God. Would that we would all be counted worthy and suffer so well.
One of many prayers for Matt and his family:
God, do your will. If it is your will, in Jesus’ name, please heal Matt Chandler. Would you answer the prayers of so many by miraculously removing any trace of that cancer from his body? I pray for Matt’s wife and his children that you would bring them a peace that passes all understanding and the kind of comfort that only a loving God could bring. As Matt continues to receive treatment, please guard his mind and keep it sharp and touch his body and keep it able. Again, if it is your will, would you give him many more years of life, ministry, and family? May it all be for Your glory. In the powerful name of Jesus, amen.
Here is the message Matt gave at Together for the Gospel yesterday, followed by some application from C.J. Mahaney, and a prayer for Matt. It will take you about an hour to watch, but if you are able, please make the time. It will be well worth it.