Eugene Cho

“god is good. and he is enough…”

Today’s post is about Pastor Zac Smith.  It feels strange blogging about a person I’ve never and until this weekend, hadn’t even heard of.  But in learning more about his story over this weekend, he feels like someone I know. Certainly, someone I would have loved to have met…

Since I haven’t had the privilege of meeting him, I’ve done the second best thing and been scouring through his blog and absorbing his honesty, pain, faith, and wisdom – in the middle of real life.

Zac was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in May 2009 and today, May 16 2010, he passed away.

His story is similar which is probably why it resonates so much with me. Zac was a follower of Christ, husband to his wife, father to three, a pastor in South Carolina — someone simply trying their best by God’s grace to live out their faith for God’s glory.

Zac, I don’t know you and feel awkward writing this but I wanted to share with others as it blessed and convicted me so much.

Thank you for giving others a glimpse into your life – both it’s beauty and depravity – ultimately pointing to the Grace and Sufficiency of God’s presence in your life.

While we have faith and conviction that you are finally well and whole in every way, I know that your wife, children, family, and church must be grieving and I lift them up in prayer.

Thank you, brother. While we have never met, you are my brother in Christ and I thank you for blessing me with your words including these from one of your blog entries:

I have been feeling pretty weak lately. Chemo continues to take a toll on my body. Fatigue abounds. And through it all, the pain of the tumors in my abdomen is constant. I do not know how to quantify or qualify the pain except to say that the persistence of it has left me with a sort of numbness to it. This is good in that the pain is not at the forefront of my thoughts, although it can be with very little summoning.

Another emotion I feel a lot of is excitement. There is so much to do this month; there is so much coming in 2010. I am super excited about some fun things happening with my family and my job at NewSpring in the coming months.

And then the two emotions of excitement and weakness collide. This weakness has led me to feel some angst about my health. Why can’t I be healthy? I need more (better?) health. I also feel bitter about my time. I need more time. And of course I need more money to help facilitate all these things. I need more. I cannot do my job if I am only working 75% of the time. I cannot accomplish all the things that need to be done if I don’t live for a long time. I cannot subsidize this stuff without more. I definitely need more. I can’t do this.

And then God spoke to me. He said, “It is sufficient.” I wrestled with Him on that for a while. But He kept saying it: “It is sufficient.” It is enough. He is enough. I have enough health to do what God wants me to do. I have enough time to do His will. I have enough money to obey Him. I was reminded of this verse; Paul pleaded with God to take away his pain, and this was the response:

2 Corinthians 12:9 — But [Jesus] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

God is good. And He is enough. And what He has given me is enough.

I have enough. And I can obey.

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9 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho. Eugene Cho said: I wish I had known Zac Smith (@zacjs8). His story – in life & in passing – pointed to God's grace: http://bit.ly/9mrITz […]

  2. gar says:

    What an amazing story… condolences to his family.

    For those interested in celebrating the lives of those with cancer and supporting research for its treatment, the American Cancer Society has annual “Relay for Life” events in our area over the next few months:

    http://www.relayforlife.org/relay/findevent

  3. Jaycee says:

    I watched this video about a while back on another blog and it made me wince. I know God knows best. He always does. In our afflictions, we still need to shine.

  4. john says:

    I was having a horrible weekend following having to have to pay for accidental damage I caused (which will be a very hard financial strain for me) and receiving a letter from American Red Cross saying their test results indicated that I am HIV positive (which I really, really hope it was a false test result) and I am not legally allowed to ever donate blood ever again…

    Thank you so much Eugene for this video, watching this helped me emotionally so much in my current, shaken stage. God bless you and Pastor Smith.

  5. dmbaldwin says:

    Hey Eugene,
    I read about Zach on Perry Noble’s blog this morning. What a story! Another take on the sufficient idea. If we are following strong after God and doing His work and ministry. It is sufficient. We don’t need any more time. He will say to Zach just as He will say to Billy Graham, “Well done.” What Zach did was sufficient to please God. He had enough time.
    Lord bless Zach’s family. My Dad died when I was nine. I understand the loss of a dad when you’re young.
    Thank you for the post.
    Blessings,
    Dave

  6. Jerry says:

    Eugene,

    I see on Zac’s blog that he died a week ago Monday – a day after you posted the video clip.

    Jerry
    Pastor First Baptist Church of Boone, Iowa

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest Took a train to Busan. Did not encounter any zombies but I was ready just in case.

Busan. First visit to this city (couple weeks ago) and was blown away by its beauty. Also, shocked that it has become the fifth largest containment port city in the world. That's a lot of import and export.

#MyAttemptToBeTheBestSmartphonePhotographer 
#Pusan #SouthKorea

my tweets

  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 22 hours ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 2 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 2 days ago
  • "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." - a local Iraqi priest || 3 days ago
  • I've been traveling through Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan. Meeting local pastors/leaders, NGOs, and refugees. Join us on IG… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 3 days ago
  • Seeking justice is part of our discipleship. In other words, seek justice not just to change the world...but to be changed more like Christ. || 6 days ago