A lot of times, God does crazy things in our lives. It’s stuff that looks really good or maybe doesn’t look like it’ll be good at all, but usually God does something big, especially if we’re getting too comfortable on the Earth.
Something crazy happened in my life a few months ago, something I could’ve never seen coming. My Dad, a serious warrior for Christ, got diagnosed with stage 4 appendix cancer. And that sucks. A lot. I can’t say that everything is still fine, because some days at my house, it isn’t. But we’re leaning into God like a sailboat leaning hard into blistering sea.
Often, gifts of grace come from the Lord that are plainly and obviously gifts. But sometimes, gifts from the Lord take way longer than others to unwrap. To my family and I, that’s what cancer is right now.
There’s this awesome guy named Bob Goff who wrote a book called Love Does, which is about the way God loves us and what we should do about it, and in this book, Bob Goff talks about how being a Christian can sometimes seem like we’re making big, hard sacrifices for the Lord. Bob also talks about a game called Bigger & Better in his book. I used to play this game at church retreats as a kid, and basically you start out with something with little value, like a dime, and go door-to-door trying to get neighbors to trade the dime for something bigger and better than what you started with. When I played, we ended up with a surfboard and a new pool table. Sometimes in life, it feels a lot like we’re giving up things to follow Jesus, things that are fun or comfortable. And from an Earthly perspective, we are giving things up, things like parties and having a life full of money and even giving up our own popularity. But to Jesus, giving these things up isn’t a sacrifice at all. When we knock on God’s door, we give him all that we have, which is practically nothing, and he gives us Himself in return. That’s no sacrifice, that is the best game of Bigger & Better ever played.
Cancer, some days, feels a lot like this. It seems like a huge sacrifice, like there’s a lot that we have to give up. In some ways, there is, but not from God’s perspective. We are giving God everything we have, and in return, He is giving Himself. I know God is going to use my Dad’s cancer to wreck my family and I for Him, and hopefully we can bring people around us to Him along the way.
Already my Dad and all of us are seeing God move through cancer. My Dad told me the other day that now at work, he can freely tell people about his faith, because no one is going to stop a man with cancer. God has been so gracious to us through other people, and we’ve realized how wildly loved we are. God is teaching us about leaning into Him and trusting Him more and more, and in the process He’s drawn the five of us all even closer as a family.
Sometimes, God does crazy things. But I think this is one of those things that takes a long time to unwrap, and I know it will bring glory to God in the end.