“Don’t you dare use me as an excuse to live in fear. God does not send us anything He does not provide strength for.” Bible Study after Brain Surgery
Tim Newcomb lives in Western Washington with his wife and three daughters. He is an editor for a weekly newspaper and a freelance writer for various magazines and newsletters.
Radical life circumstances have strengthened Chandler’s reliance on God’s Word. While at home on Thanksgiving morning 2009, Chandler suffered a seizure. He hit his head while falling and was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.
Chandler and his family have cried their share of tears, as he is careful to note, but it is the family’s strong foundation in Jesus that helps them understand that “none of these things are better than Him.”
Soon thereafter, Chandler, his wife Lauren, and their three children learned that he had a 2-inch tumor on the right frontal lobe of his brain that required immediate surgery. The Chandler family took to embracing the love and support of their church body and was strengthened by Scripture.
“And I’m saying that right now,” Chandler says. “Not as the guy who has everything, but as the guy who could lose everything in an instant. I’m not afraid. Don’t you dare use me as an excuse to live in fear. God does not send us anything He does not provide strength for.”
In a video shown to the church before the early December brain surgery, Chandler says he trusts the Lord with everything. He also mentions that a recent passage he had been preaching when traveling—Hebrews 11—struck a new chord with him.
Chandler’s seven-hour surgery revealed that his tumor is malignant—too large to remove and not encapsulated.
In verses 33–38, Hebrews 11 talks of men who shut the mouths of lions and some putting foreign armies to flight and more—all good things that happen to the people of God. “Right in the middle, it just turns and says that some were tortured and some were sawn in two and some destitute, but all walked in faith,” Chandler says. “All (God) has ever given me is nothing but good. I’ve always felt that when I taught my message there was a hitch in that some don’t get (the trials). I have had victory after victory after victory. There is this part of me that is grateful that the Lord counted me worthy for this. Now, in an area that is not a big win, I get to show He is enough. I get to praise Him and exalt Him in this.”
Two weeks after the brain surgery and still with uncertainty surrounding him, Chandler again spoke via video to the church, saying, “The verse that has constantly been in my head is the one from Ecclesiastes (7:2), where it says it is better to go into a house of mourning (than feasting).” When the veil of mortality is lifted, lives that are seduced by frivolousness can be changed, explains Chandler. Starting in late December 2009, Chandler began chemo and radiation treatments. “The peace we feel—the joy we get to walk in—is absolutely woven into how many of you are praying for us and asking God to give us that peace and confidence in Him,” he says. Even in the most difficult times, Chandler encourages those around him to follow his lead and dwell in God. The way he signed a late December blog post reveals his view of Scripture—and life for that matter: “Christ is all, Matt Chandler.”
Published on Mar 1, 2009
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