I asked Matt Stone to write an entry for this blog in November last year, just a few days before his lung collapsed for the first time. I imagined that writing might be a good avenue for his usually-quiet self to share about his past experience with illness and suffering, and his relationship with God along the way. I thought we’d all be blessed to hear some of his insight. Of course, I let him off the hook while he took some time to recover, but I asked him again a few weeks before Easter, wondering if he’d be willing to share with us about his recent journey, and his ability to trust God through so many unknowns.
Matt told me he’d be happy to write, but a few days later we found out that he was in need of a lung transplant and the next month became total whirlwind. He never got the chance.
It has been three weeks since Matt died — three difficult weeks, full of many unknowns. I don’t know why God allowed Matt to suffer so much. I don’t know why he allowed him to die. I don’t know how we are supposed to move forward with life now that he’s gone. My prayers have been weak and scattered with silence. I don’t even really know how to talk to God about the season of life to come. I’m expecting a baby, due to arrive any day now, and my mind is swimming with worry about the impending labour, about the health of the baby, and about his or her eternal salvation. I feel like I don’t understand God as well as I did two months ago; so how am I supposed to trust Him with these things?
I’m sad that Matt never got the chance to write down his story for us. I think he would have written words of deep wisdom about trusting God even when we don’t fully understand His ways, and I think those words would have been so helpful for me in the place I’m in now. But as I reflect on Matt’s life – on his calm assurance and steady faith through all the trials he faced – I realize that I don’t need to regret the lack of words he put down on paper. Matt showed us by his life what it meant to trust a God who is difficult to understand. Even through all his suffering, he did not give himself over to worry or doubt. He placed his life in his Father’s hands, and trusted Him with the outcome. Once, when Sharon asked Matt if God had spoken anything new to him, he said to her: God told me when I had cancer that I was going to be healed. What more does He need to say?
I’m thankful for Matt’s example of trusting God through unknowns, and I am going to try to follow that example over the next few weeks as I work through all my questions and worries. I want to trust God even when I don’t understand Him, and to put my life in His hands without giving into worry or doubt. He has already promised that He’ll never fail me, what more does He need to say?