Saturday, October 04, 2008

To Die Living


I know you all have been praying for me fervently, and I thank you. Praise God for all the ways He is answering. Today I physically feel so much better than I have for a long time. Three weeks ago I was at the peak of the pain in my mouth and throat, then I got sick, then got pneumonia which postponed my PET scan from Sept 18th to Oct 1, which on top of everything made me wait anxiously for 2 additional weeks to know if this swelling and pain is due to tumors in my neck and throat! Then, to top it all off, after I got past pneumonia and was starting to recover I caught a cold again.

God really brought me to some low and dark times these past few weeks. To be honest, I didn't take it like a champ. I complained a lot and wanted to just escape my weak body. Though I hate being so sick, when God brings me low like that it always reminds me of what is really in my heart. The reason I feel so frustrated with everything when I'm weak is not because I can't give myself to my wife, children and friends, it is because my idols are not being satisfied. My idols of comfort and pride are just two obvious examples that were at the forefront of my mind this week. And they are the same idols that always distracted me from giving myself to my family and others when I was healthy.

Please pray that I would continually be repenting of these sins and make progress in dying to myself, and giving myself to my family. Pray that I would be like Christ who gave Himself as a ransom for all (1 Tim 2:6) or like Paul who said "But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all" (Phil 2:17). In addition to praying for healing please pray specifically that I would use 100% of my 50% energy level to give myself to serve the Lord especially in leading my family, even if receive news that there are still tumors in my body next week. My family needs leadership and an example of Christ more than ever, and with so many things changing all the time I need supernatural wisdom to know how to do that.

Even if the doctors tell me again next week that I'm going to die of this disease, my priorities to serve God should remain the same. The truth is that I've been dying since I was born. So now, as always, I must die living to make God famous. That's what Jesus did.

My wife wrote a blog last night about my trouble breathing. Today I woke up feeling like I'm over my sicknesses. My lungs and throat are clearer of mucus. Praise God! I know that God has answered your prayers for me and refreshed me both physically and spiritually after bringing me through some dark times. And I know that He will continue to answer your prayers for me.

This morning, I went to the gym and exercised and shot a basketball for the first time since before surgery in March! The surgeries and massive amounts of radiation have permanently damaged my neck, shoulder and right arm. I don't have strength in my wrist and shoulder to propel the ball very far yet. Yet I was able to take shots at 3 feet, then eventually made it to about 10 feet from the basket. I'll keep you posted on my progress in the coming weeks if I stay healthy.

Today was a breath of fresh air. After all that has been happening to me, it was nice to get out and play. Thank you, Lord!


  1. our prayer is that someday you'll be so strong and cancer free you'll be able to slam dunk, andrew! praise God for your improved breathing. God is good!

  2. Knowing you can breathe better makes us breathe better. PRAISE OUR CREATOR GOD!

  3. Andrew and Grace,
    I've been thinking about you guys a lot. I read a post of Andrew's a week or so ago, and you certainly did seem to be down. The verse that came to my mind was Philipians 1:21 - "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." No matter what you do, living or dying, it is all for His glory. I'm praying for you all. Thank you for the ways that you have been so encouraging.


  4. Andrew and Grace,

    I don't know you, but I know your God. This journal is a fine testimony of the grace of God and a very real human yet Christian perspective on suffering.

    I just starting reading your blog today. I've read a lot of it already. I want you to know that I am now bearing this burden with you. I commit to praying for you regularly.

    My church and I have been memorizing the book of Philippians and have been noticing Paul's struggle with life and death. Chapter 1:19-26 is striking a spiritual chord in my heart as I read your posts.

    I appreciate your struggle to honor Christ through incredible pain and the agony of uncertainty. Most of us talk about endurance; you are living it minute by minute. Your story has helped me to set my affections on things above in a greater way than before.

    We know God makes no mistakes. We know His grace is sufficient. We know He provides a way of escape. We know all things work to our good and His glory. But we also know the mental, physical, and emotional anguish is very real and can take us to edge of faith and doubt.

    Please know that a brother in Indianapolis loves you, prays for you, thanks God for you, and can't wait to meet you, whether on earth or in our eternal home.