Note: It’s funny how God works sometimes. In recent visits to my home church in The Woodlands, Texas, Brandon has become friends with Adam and Aaron Kovach, twin sons of a longtime spiritual mentor, friend, and encourager of mine. Through Brandon and Twitter, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know them a bit, too. They’re funny guys! Adam has become an avid BiME reader, so I told him that I’d let him have a guest spot on the blog if he wrote something. Knowing how funny he is and how much he loves List Wednesday posts, I figured he’d send me something along those lines. He didn’t.:) I don’t know too many high school guys who are as funny as Adam that would pass up an opportunity to make people laugh in favor of sharing Christ. But more than anything else, Adam loves Jesus and wants to share what He has done in his life. That’s why it made me smile so much to read this. I hope it will speak to you, too.
Would you believe me if I told you there are better blessings in the hard times than in the good times?
When I was 11-years-old, my dad had a seizure. He was taken by ambulance to the emergency room and had a lot of tests done. When the doctor came out to meet us he told us that my dad had glioblastoma, which is brain cancer, and one of the toughest cancers to beat there is. But my dad was not worried because he knew he was in Gods’ hands. That’s all he needed to know.
This happened back in 2005. He currently lives in Florida, where his sister takes care of him 24/7. He is paralyzed from the neck down, but is getting a little better. My dad cannot speak even one word because it takes too much breath. Before we sent him to Florida, he said one last thing to my mom – “Teach them to know and love the Lord.”
Watching my God-fearing dad go through this has strengthened my faith in ways I only wish he could know. Before all this, he worked for Continental Airlines, which is now United Airlines. One of the benefits he got as an employee there was free standby flights for him and his immediate relatives. After he was diagnosed with brain cancer, the airlines forced him to retire. They allowed him to keep his flight benefits, though. This was good because that meant we could fly free to Florida to see him whenever we were able to. It also allowed my two older brothers to go to Germany this past summer on a mission trip. It was really cool to see how that trip impacted my brothers’ lives and strengthened their faith. But it was even cooler to see the ways that God is still, in the midst of hardships, using my dad. Even though, technically, my dad did not do a thing, God has used him to further his kingdom.
My dad is still technically alive, and is the longest living patient with stage 4 glioblastoma, but I would not call what it is he does living. It’s more like getting by.
Living through this has taught me that if I was given the opportunity to go through 10 years of hardships or 10 years of good times, I would without skipping a beat choose to go through the hard times. Because when you go through a hardship you get to know God and you get to experience true happiness. Plus, at the end, you know how to experience those good times when they do come.