This blog is the combined effort of four senior pastors of different churches. Their desire is to point you toward living a God-centered, gospel-focused, Christian life.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I am about to leave for the hospital to visit a young man from our church.  He is 12 years old and in his second major battle with cancer.  Today, doctors are removing his foot in this fight for his life.  Gavin is an outstanding hockey player.  This surgery is painful on more than one level.
At this point in the blog, readers are probably expecting some treatise on the purposes of God in suffering, some explanation of why this is happening.  That would be a good thing to write about some time.  But not today.

Today, the doctors are going to hurt Gavin terribly, permanently injuring him and ceasing the things he loves in order to help him and spare his life.  These doctors are ruthless in their pursuit of saving Gavin.

So, two parallels.  First, God is relentless in the pursuit of His elect.  He will even hurt terribly, sometimes permanently injuring the person and ceasing the things that person loves in order to save him.  Jacob’s wrestling with the angel comes to mind, as does the blindness of the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus.  Job 5:17-18 says, “Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.  For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.”  (Yes, I know that these are the words of Eliphaz, a not always trustworthy source, but I think here that he is affirming truth.)  Psalm 94:12 says, “Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD; the man you teach from your law.”  We are not shocked that the doctors today will hurt Gavin in order to heal him.  We ought not be shocked when our loving God hurts His own in order to heal even worse things in us.

Second, Jesus calls us to be relentless in rooting sin out of our lives.  The doctors are relentless in their pursuit of rooting cancer out of Gavin.  Jesus said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell” (Matthew 5:29-30).  Are we relentless in our rooting sin out of our lives as the doctors are in rooting cancer out of Gavin’s?  I fear not.

So, today remember the relentless pursuit of God on your life and welcome His discipline.  Relentlessly remove sin from your life, even where it is painful to do so.  And remember to pray for my young friend Gavin today.

Gotta go—surgery begins in less than an hour.

UPDATE:  Gavin's surgery went well.  He has a long and difficult road ahead.  Please pray for him.  He loves the Lord--we spent quite a bit of time prior to his surgery looking at various online Bible devotion sites.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update on Gavin, Scott. Grateful for God's relentless pursuit and sanctifying work!