It has been a couple of months since Matt Chandler collapsed at his home on Thanksgiving morning from a seizure, which resulted in the discovery of a brain tumor that normally gives a person about three years to live. His story is now impacting multitudes of people as his fight against brain cancer has been picked up by several national media outlets (USA Today) and is now being circulated frequently on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Click here to read the story on yahoo news. (Incidentally, here is an article by John Piper that was written about not wasting his cancer. I have given Piper’s article to people who are in Christ and battling cancer.)
In the church I pastor, I have witnessed first-hand the impact of Chandler’s wanting to suffer well. A couple of weeks after the initial seizure our church viewed a video of Chandler talking about what was next. A day or so later I received an email from a guy who was visiting our church for the first time, asking how we could watch the video again because it was very impacting to him.
I don’t want to glorify Matt Chandler or John Piper, but I thank God for both of them because their example is the kind of thinking and living that epitomized the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:20-21. If we suffer well, as Chandler is, we will show that Jesus is far better, but if we suffer in continual anger and fear we will show that this world is our true treasure, and we will consequently teach people to cling to the world and love it instead of Jesus. I am not saying that suffering is easy, but I pray that God would help everyone of us who are in Christ to show and tell something great about Christ in our suffering, because suffering is inevitable in a broken and cancerous world.