Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Seeing Jesus in Andrew Park

For those interested in attending Andrew's memorial service tomorrow night please see Joe's blog HERE for details.  Thanks to many of you who reached out after my last post about getting a bone marrow drive set up at the Global Missions Conference in Wheaton later this month. I was able to get in touch with some of the leaders and the ball is rolling. Please pray for a favorable result and for Connor and so many others that are searching desperately for a match.
Andrew at age 4 in his Sunday School class
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. -John 11:25

I've been reflecting a lot this past week or two on Andrew's passing and the emotions have been so mixed. We are grieving for a family that misses him so much, and yet we are joyful in knowing that Andrew is free from pain and in the presence of Jesus. 

As many of you know, Andrew wasn't just another boy with cancer to us. Kim had the privilege of being Andrew's Sunday School teacher since he was about four years old and so she has watched him grow over the years in every way a boy can grow.

Not only that, Andrew was also diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia the day after we found out that Kim had cancer and so from the onset we all knew that we were fighting this battle together. Both Kim and Andrew fought through their respective cancers and despite very different outcomes they both fought a good fight and they fought with the Lord's strength. I am sure of it.

This was Andrew's second bout with cancer. His first was over three years ago and so Kim and I not only looked to the Lord but to Andrew, his father Joe and their family to help us walk through this darkest of valleys. Despite their own pain and suffering they were happy to serve us in this way. The student was now leading the teacher and we had never been more proud to follow.

I'll be honest. In my flesh, sometimes it's hard not to struggle with the fact that Kim is in remission, while Andrew has passed and Connor continues to recover from a failed BMT. Sometimes it's difficult to make sense of God's plan as it unfolds. But the truth still stands: God is good. God is sovereign. God is glorious.  Sometimes those truths are all you have to cling to...but it's enough.

These past few days I've been meditating upon two deaths in the Gospels - Lazarus and Jesus. Lazarus was raised from the dead but the truth is he eventually died. The Gospels do not record the exact day or when it happened but it's true - he passed away. Jesus' resurrection was different. He has risen and he still lives.

Jesus' raising of Lazarus from the dead was just a picture of the greater resurrection that was soon to come. His own.  And therein lies our living hope. If Lazarus' empty tomb was but a shadow, then Jesus' empty tomb is the Sun. One a dim reflection and the other a blaze of glory.

And what we learn is that even in death or life, God's goodness cannot be diminished, God's purpose cannot thwarted, and God's glory cannot be frustrated. Jesus' death and resurrection has paved the way for ours and when we receive Jesus by faith as our Lord and Savior we become participants of his death and resurrection (Gal 2:20) and that is exactly what the baptism (being submerged underwater and brought to new life) was meant to picture. And so we mourn but we do not mourn like the world who has no hope. We mourn death with a living hope. Because our hope is in the One who is the "resurrection and the life"(Jn 11:25).

I believe with all my heart that Andrew is now in the presence of Jesus and he has never been happier. Ever. His eyes now see what his heart already knew and he is in the arms of the One who sustains the universe and who spoke it into being.

God's goodness has not been diminished, God's purpose has not been thwarted, and God's glory has not been frustrated. Blessed be His name.

In His Hope,

Peter & Kim

No comments:

Post a Comment