It began one sunny day on the campus of Lee College where Matt and
I were students. We had been best friends for several years. That morning,
Matt asked if I would run him to the doctorï¿½s office. Heï¿½d had a cough
for several weeks and wanted some medicine to shake it.
Neither of us knew that visit would lead to a series of tests to diagnose
Matt as having Hodgkins disease, a form of cancer. He eventually went home
to Virginia to get the medical treatment and attention he needed. We were
all thrilled when Matt arrived back on campus the next semester, full of
life and with no trace of cancer in his body. After graduation, I
went on the road singing contemporary Christian music. Matt became a youth
pastor at one of the cornerstone churches in the denomination we had grown
One day on the road, I received an urgent phone call from one of my
college buddies: ï¿½Matt has leukemia.ï¿½ I was shocked. Matt battled leukemia
and eventually went into remission. Once again Matt overcame a life-threatening
Several years passed, and I received another phone call with a message
about Matt: his leukemia was out of remission. For months, Matt battled
the disease and at the end of 1993, he went to a home heï¿½d sung, talked,
and preached about many times during his life.
During the ten years of Mattï¿½s fight, we felt he would be healed and
live to be a testimony of Godï¿½s miraculous power. But it didnï¿½t happen.
And we wondered why.
We still wonder why.
A strong, young Christian couple prays for a baby only to have the life
of that innocent child taken in a drive-by shooting, and they wonder why?
A Christian husband sits at a table and stares off to oblivion because
his wife said she doesnï¿½t want to be married anymore. And he wonders why?
A fifty-five year old man gave his life to his company only to be told
he is not needed because they are stressing youth. He canï¿½t help but ask
why? A loving mother dies leaving two daughters to face the complexities
of being a teen without their mom. They look to the heavens and ask why?
Why? We scramble through our human reasoning, searching for a neat,
clean answer. Why? We grow insecure because the God in whom we have placed
our faith seems to have let us down. Why? We struggle to see how ï¿½All things
work together for the good,ï¿½ and our hearts scream why?
Why? Why? Why? Thatï¿½s what I thought as I stood that December afternoon
at the grave of my friend.
Itï¿½s been several years since Matt went to be with the Lord. Although
I still wonder why, I have finally accepted the fact that I donï¿½t have
to understand everything.
But I do understand that God has called us to trust him, regardless
of the circumstances. I do understand that God is always at work. And I
do understand that when I donï¿½t know the answer to why, I know the answer
to who. The answer is God!
When life is simple, I will hold to his hand. When life is complicated,
I will hold to his hand. And someday, I will do more than hold his hand,
I will leave this world to be with him, as Matt did that dark December