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

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Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

my tweets

  • Heartbroken. Praying for Manchester & the UK. For those mourning loved ones. For those injured and fighting for life. Lord, in your mercy. || 10 hours ago
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  • As leaders, we must not sacrifice our family for the sake of ministry because loving our family IS good leadership: instagram.com/p/BUVAGVwg-5z/ || 2 days ago
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