I have been following the Journey of a young pastor in Dallas Texas named Matt Chandler for about 2 years now. He is one of the many people that I listen to, and use as a buffer or a guardrail for my own ministry. I don’t agree with some of his theology, but I think he is right on the money about a lot of things; besides what kind of person would I be if I only listened to people who think, act, and preach just like me?
Matt is becoming a highly respected pastor amongst the younger evangelical reformed church community and for good reason. They like his theology, his passion, and his honesty! There is no denying that he is a great communicator and that he believes what he is saying with a passion! That I can respect… but more than that I have come to respect that he walks the walk! Most recently Matt had a seizure on Thanksgiving day, only to find out 3 days later that he had a huge mass on his frontal lob that was a form of cancer that was treatable but incurable. The medical community says he has 2-3 good years left if treated well. Within a week Matt had a craniotomy to remove the mass on his brain and has been in some intense chemo treatments for the last 5 months! I couldn’t imagine the horror a young man in his 30’s with 3 small kids would be going through! And this is why I continue to pray for him as often as I think of him.
Here is clip from an interview he did with James and Betty Robinson on Life Today… check out the video and then continue reading!
Two things stuck out to me and both of them are connected. First off, I can relate to him asking God to show mercy on his children, hoping and praying they don’t grow bitter toward God because of his suffering. I had the same conversation with God about Myles when Micah died. Myles was 4 1/2 when Micah was born and loved Micah as much as we did! Losing his little brother just before his 5th birthday was a blow no child should have to face!
Shanda and I wanted to gaurd him from the hurt, but in reality we couldn’t guard him from the pain. Watching Myles grieve the lose of his little brother was extremely difficult, but we saw the fruit of faith in the midst of our grief when we found out Jillian was on the way (only 3 months after Micah died) Which brings me to the second part of the video that stuck out to me. One night as we read a book to Myles in preparation for bed, we decided to pray for Mommy and the baby, and Myles asked to pray first. “Jesus, please make my mommy feel good, and the baby to feel good, and grow up good, and healthy… but even if you don’t, we love you anyway, amen”. With tears in our eyes Shanda and I both said Amen, deciding no further prayer was needed! Myles just said a prayer that was not really ready to even come out of our hearts yet… in the midst of our pain and grief over Micah, Myles understood better than I did how our love toward God should be conditioned on 1 thing and 1 thing only… He First Loved Us! (1 John 4) Period, end of discussion.
I’m not shocked to hear Matt talk about the 3 Hebrew children in wrestling with the question will God heal me, but I sure am encouraged to know he is resting in the truth that regardless of what happens, we love Jesus! As the 3 Hebrew children said, “the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, but even if he doesn’t, we will not serve your gods!” Please pray for Matt, his wife, and their 3 young children as they face this terrible disease and journey towards healing!