Mike Cope's blog

Friday, April 09, 2004

A few moments ago, a dear friend of mine in Phoenix, Joe Smith, died after a courageous battle with cancer. To the end of his life, he continued to be a witness to the goodness and mercy of God. Highland members may remember seeing the video I showed a month or two ago where I had interviewed Joe. He was a big fan of Zoe music, and I'd asked him at our last two conferences (in Nashville and Fresno) to give his testimony. Seven months ago I published (with his permission) part of a note he'd sent me. Here it is again. Read it carefully on this Good Friday! "Recovery in the hospital went very well -- I heard myself described as a 'highly motivated' patient. I thank God for his mercy in giving me the ability to heal rapidly. One of the things I resolved, on the day I was diagnosed nearly 3 1/2 years ago, was to give him the glory, whether in life or in death. Of course, I immediately started looking for rationale to support the assertion that he would be given more glory if I lived, because I preferred living. In doing all this reflection, I seriously pondered the question, Does God get more glory through living (a triumphant, miraculous healing, for example) or through dying (a dignified, submissive passing)? I came to the conclusion that the answer was neither -- that the glory was in the struggle. (With a theology like this, no wonder I've had so many recurrences!) Anyway, if I've struggled well, I just wanted to be sure he got the credit."

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