“My Heart is full…I am Thankful”

As we’ve been reading the book of Job in November and December, I have a heightened awareness of suffering and how we need to be prepared spiritually WHEN, not IF, we are blindsided by circumstances in our lives that threaten our faith.  Pastor Matt Chandler, lead pastor of The Village Church in the Dallas area, collapsed with a seizure on Thanksgiving Day.  He is having surgery this morning.
Please pray for Matt, Lauren and the kids.

Update from The Village Church elders 12/4/09

Thank you for your many prayers for Matt and Lauren and for our church at this time. Matt’s surgery is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. CST Friday, and we ask your continued prayers especially during that time. We also ask that you respect the family wishes and not visit the hospital.

We will keep you updated as is appropriate. The surgery could possibly run several hours. The earliest we will provide an update will be Friday night or Saturday morning.

If you wish to send Matt and Lauren a note or card, please mail it to 2101 Justin Road, Flower Mound, TX 75028.

Here is Matt’s blog entry “My Heart is full…I am Thankful” which was posted this morning…

Pastor Matt Chandler’s Reflections Before Surgery

Matt Chandler:

The last seven days have been some of the most interesting of my life. I have felt anxiety, fear, sadness and a deep and unmovable joy simultaneously and in deeper ways than I have felt before. I am grateful for this heightened sense of things. Today at noon I will have a good portion of my right frontal lobe removed. I head into that surgery with a heart that is filled with gratitude and hope.

Here are some of the things I am thankful for in no particular order:

I am thankful for the thousands of you who have prayed and fasted for my health. It has brought far more tears to Lauren’s and my eyes to receive this kind of attention from the Church universal than this tumor has.

I’m thankful for health insurance because I’m guessing they aren’t doing my five-hour surgery for free!

I am thankful that I have deep, real friendships at The Village with Michael Bleecker, Josh Patterson, Brian Miller, Chris Chavez and Beau Hughes. They have been such a comfort to me and my family this past week. Pastors should have good friends on their staff. It’s risky but worth the risk

I am grateful for the men of God in my life, namely John Piper who taught me to hold my life cheap and to join with Paul in saying “I don’t count my life of any value or as precious to myself if only I might finish my course and complete the work that He gave me to do to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. I’m nothing, I just have a job. God keep me faithful on the job and then let me drop and go to the reward.” Without this strong view of God’s sovereign will, I’m not sure how you don’t despair in circumstances like mine.

I am thankful for my wife Lauren. “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’” “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

I am thankful for my children. Audrey the Beautiful, Reid the Valiant and Norah the Joyous. Being a daddy to these three is one of the greatest joys of my life.

The privilege of seeing and appreciating all of life through the grid of a heightened sense of my own mortality.

I am thankful for brilliant doctors and surgeons who have been given a real gift by our great God and King to repair things as complex as the brain.

I am thankful for The Village Church. If there is a place that loves Jesus more, takes sanctification as seriously and wants to see the lost love the great King deeply I am unaware of it. These last seven years have been a spectacular joy!

More than anything else I am grateful to my King Eternal, my Lord Immortal, for my God invisible. He alone is God. All Glory and Honor, Forever to You O God. I am overwhelmed in these moments by God Himself and the assurance of a future inheritance of a Kingdom that cannot be shaken and where all things are made new (Hebrews 12).

Christ is All,

Matt Chandler