Five Years Ago Today

five years ago today, i learned that i had cancer.

why i live on, while friends have not, is mystery to me.

undoubtedly God wanted two more little ones.



dumbfounding to look at them and ponder their non-existence.

if not for chemo.

undoubtedly God wanted seven more new yorkers.

brought to the city by a historic church fallen on hard times.

brought to the city for the ancient gospel every ready to rescue.

brought to the city to be brought to the end of ourselves.

and to find again that Christ is all in all.

undoubtedly God wanted kimberly and me to carry on.

to live, to laugh, to dance, to sing.

to weep, to mourn, to age, to love.

but why do i live on?

and not daniel or ken or julie or todd.

or james.


i have no full answer.

nor a better answer than sarah edwards:

a holy and good God sometimes covers us with a dark cloud.

but my God lives.

and he has my heart.

God save me, save us all, from hezekiah’s fate.

where added years meant diminished faithfulness.

where answered prayers yielded self-confidence.


eventual destruction.

we take as our own the prayer of Bernard of Clairvaux:

let us never, never outlive our love to Thee.

five years ago today.

grateful to be alive.

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6 Responses to Five Years Ago Today

  1. John Hollan says:

    I rejoice in the Lord’s goodness to you. You are a blessing to me in my walk with Jesus.

  2. mccarnan says:

    Grateful to God for His keeping you here too. I sorrow for the losses, but am overwhelmed by the glorious glimpses if Christ amid the pain. Love you!

  3. Michael Whitcomb says:

    Matt. Thanks for your consistent testimony. I too have seen friends pass while I live on w chronic illness. Thanks for writing this and know that others draw courage and faith from your scars.

  4. George and Rita Orner says:

    Continue to praise God – for those who have left before you and for the mission He has for you and your family here. What a special testimony of God’s goodness!

  5. pastorkb says:

    God allowed cancer to end my wife’s life in 2012. I share many of your feelings/thoughts, but not from the perspective of a survivor, but of a widower. I often wonder, why her and not me? But I value life more through it all. And I know that God has a plan. He is doing a thousand things in everything He is doing. And they all end in His glory. So how can I do anything but trust and praise Him? Amen!

  6. Fred Coleman says:

    God moves in a mysterious way His wonders ( and perfect way) to perform. Praise God from whom all blessings flow … Grateful for your life, ministry and friendship, Uncle Fred

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