I am so sorry to hear about Mark’s passing. I know that the past couple months have been very hard for you especially as you have had to bear the burden of discord in your family. I am glad to hear that you are trusting the Lord through all this. We have been praying for you and will continue to do so. As I think about Mark and our correspondence the past year I am reminded of what Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Mark certainly had a difficult fight in his last days, not only a physical battle with cancer, but also a tremendous battle emotionally and spiritually. But his testimony in the end was that he was going to trust the Lord to the end. And today he is with the Lord ready to receive that crown of righteousness!
Cheryl and Family,
There is no greater hope and desire that a Pastor can have in serving God’s people during the time of death than to bring honor and glory to the Name of God by being a source of comfort and encouragement to those who are grieving. I pray that this has been the case in my interaction with your family over the past couple of weeks especially at Mark’s Memorial Service. It was a great privilege to give testimony to Mark’s faith in Jesus Christ and I pray that it was a comfort to you all.
Below is a copy of the email from which I read at the memorial service. I pray that it will go on as a source of comfort and encouragement as you read it and remember Mark’s faith.
Good to hear from you. Thank you for the verses too. Everyday is a struggle as you can well imagine with cancer. I was almost ready to throw in the towel this week but managed to get through it again. I am having issues sleeping and this week I was extremely bloated and could not eat. I have since ceased taking all medications except for diabetes medication as I believe that is the current issue. Hopefully I will be able to function without them.
My biggest struggle is trying to understand what God is trying to show me with this illness. The Bible says that God uses all things for our good for His purposes. Even though we may never understand them while on this earth, I still try to do so. I know we live in a fallen world and that all creation is cursed as a result, but I guess I always hoped God would protect His beloved. We are certainly protected from losing our salvation but our physical health is just our body which is passing away anyway. I totally trust God and absolutely know that He cannot do evil and believe that His ways are so far beyond me so whatever is happening to me, He is in control. It’s just hard when you know and understand God is also a healing God as well.
I am trying an alternate cancer treatment that I have high hopes will work to cure the cancer but again, it’s really up to God whether it will work or not. God continues to show me more about His truth everyday, especially things that are so often glossed over by the churches of today. I’m reading A. W. Pink’s “The Doctrine of Election” which is mind blowing”. He has so many profound thoughts which he has written in the book but here’s one of my favorites:
“It is one of the marks of the regenerate that they set to their seal that God is true. Nor do they pick and choose, as will religious hypocrites: once they perceive a truth is clearly taught in the Word, even though it be utterly opposed to their own reason and inclinations, they humbly bow to it and implicitly receive it, and would do so though not another person in the whole world believed it.”
I’ve had to do this many times with God’s Word but it is now no longer difficult or as difficult. I am so happy for His truth in coming into my life and will always never understand how God could pick such a sinner as me, but I’m so thankful that He did.