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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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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