I Died a Kind of Death (My Passion Story, part 2)

1 09 2011

I have a wonderful wife named Lyn, and two terrific daughters  Lauren and Heather. I even have a wonderful son-in-law, Peter who married Lauren. I was a pastor in California for eight years. Then God burdened our hearts with the challenge to go to Kenya and train pastors who had not gotten a chance to go to Bible school. So we went, and stayed there for 10 years, from 1990 to 2000. Those were great (and challenging) years we will never forget!

Toward the end of that time, Lyn was feeling progressively weak. The week before we left she was in the hospital in Nairobi to try to get enough strength for the journey to the States. We managed to get her on the plane and barely made it back to San Francisco before she passed out or even passed away. A couple of months later Lyn was diagnosed with acute leukemia. Chemotherapy did not quickly rid her body of the cancer, so she received a bone marrow transplant from her sister Cindy. (This is a very short version of events!)

To use a bit of understatement, this was a hugely difficult ordeal for the whole family. Lyn had some complications. She was in the hospital for 10 different stays, involving 144 days. But she survived, and is doing fine today!

But this was all a death-like experience for our family. We basically had to release her to whatever God chose to do, for the outcome was out of anyone’s hands, except His.

At the same time my ministry had to die. I was taking care of my wife and daughters. All my energies went into that, and I did not have time or concentration to have any ministry among church leaders. Each of our family members also died a kind of death: Lyn with her terrible fight for life, Lauren and Heather with their confusion about whether their mom would live (not to mention adjusting to life in the USA which they no longer identified with).

One lesson I learned was not to pay much attention to the medical percentages they tell you. Lyn was given a certain percentage chance of dying from the transplant. Then she had a certain percentage chance of not surviving the exposure to germs, having no immune system. One day God spoke to me very clearly and said: I only want you to pay attention to one percentage–that I am 100% in control. (God continued…) If I choose to heal, it will happen 100% no matter how hopeless the doctors are. And no matter how good a percentage the doctors give, she will only get better if I say so. So trust Me 100%.

I decided that would be my approach, and Lyn heartily agreed.

That is what the crucified life is…when you place yourself 100% into the control and care of God.  When you have such a death-like experience, commit yourself into the hands of God 100%. There is a peace in that place that is indescribable.

Next I’ll describe my burial-like experience.


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