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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"He must become greater; I must become less." - John 3:30 We have to remind ourselves of this truth every day lest we forget:

Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant.

Be faithful.

PS: Also, it helps to get some Vitamin D especially if you live in the rainy Northwest Thank you, Brooklyn, for the reminder. Umm, @jlin7 is a Christian but he wasn't very Christlike with me on the basketball court. He muscled me into the paint, dunked on me, mentioned my momma, and then said, "Stick with preaching." Just kidding. Kind of.

If you haven't heard, Jeremy Lin is donating his one games wages (approximately $140,000) and an additional $100 for every 3 pointer made to support Girls' Empowerment and Education through @onedayswages. That game is this Friday vs the Boston Celtics!

Join his campaign as he's inviting his fans to donate just $7. - http://onedayswages.org/jlin

Did you know that 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.

Did you know that every year of secondary school increases a girl’s future earning power by 20 percent.

Did you know that if all girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia had a secondary education, child marriage would fall by 64 percent.

We can't change the entire world but we can impact the lives of one, few, and in some cases...many.

#jeremylin #jlin #linsanity #onedayswages Don't be held captive to either praise or criticism.

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Know what you're about.
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The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

This is not a misprint.
200.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
Sahara and her children all survived this journey. They survived because she persisted. 
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