"...not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith" - Philippians 3:9
Thursday, September 8, 2011
He finished well
Since one of my children (Oliver, age 7) has cancer (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) I was pretty moved by the testimony of this young man that I read on the Desiring God blog today:
Last November we wrote a post about the Watters family and their testimony of God's sovereignty in the midst of cancer. Here is their CaringBridge entry from September 7:
Victor Manuel Watters passed into eternity earlier this morning at the age of 14 years. He ran a good race, and finished well. To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
The testimony of Victor's life is that of a young man who spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ everywhere he went. Last week, his mom shared this exchange between them:
Victor turned to me intently and said, “Mom, if I go … I mean soon … will you tell my family about God, about Jesus?” Then his eyes grew fierce as he clarified, “I mean really try?” And I promised as the tears rolled some more. Then we talked about making a video so that he could say what he wanted to them and others … and he asked if I would help him. Yes sir.
From a Friend
Many friends and family members gathered at the Watters' home over the past few days. One friend wrote:
We shared heart-wrenching emotions of loss and yet incredible joy in the hope (and now reality) that Victor was leaving this world and would soon be face-to-face with his Savior, Jesus Christ. This young man touched thousands of lives, and as family, friends and neighbors came to say their goodbyes, Victor overflowed with just the right words of encouragement, humor, gratitude, and heart-felt prayers on to each one of them. Statements he made such as “I’ll see you in heaven” were not throw-away phrases; rather, they expressed deep convictions that Victor held firmly as he stood on the solid rock of God’s Word.
Undoubtedly, Victor was on a mission to share the gospel with unbelievers — to spread the fragrance of Jesus everywhere. He did so with articulation and wisdom beyond his years. With his Bible in hand, he would read God’s Word, imploring those who came to “be reconciled to Christ.” Victor spoke truth generated by love and genuine concern. It was incredible to see that although Victor’s body was withering away, he was strong in his desire to point others to Jesus. We were so blessed to experience the fragrance of Christ through Victor, and we will never be the same.
In May of this year Victor was baptized. Here is the testimony that he wrote and shared:
I was born in a non-Christian family. I don’t think we ever went to church. And I didn’t ever think about where I would go if I died. God changed me probably a little differently from most people. He changed me through cancer. I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in December of 2006. They found out I had cancer because I had a seizure. The tumor in my hip got so big that it had shut down some of my organs.
I was moved into foster care because both of my parents were making bad decisions. I went to church sometimes with my new foster parents, but I didn’t care about Jesus or God at that time. In the hospital, I would always think to myself that it was by my strength that I could get through this. Well, by God’s grace I met the Watters family, which was just the start of everything.
God decided that he wanted to move me to a Christian family. The Watters were really wanting to adopt me, which was perfect timing, because at that time, my foster parents were not able to take care of me anymore. So I became a Watters.
Living with the Watters for a couple of months, my mom one day told me about Christ and how he died for me. That same day, I knelt down on our kneeler and accepted Christ. I believe that God gave me cancer for a reason, and that reason was to meet the Watters and become a Christian so that I can be with him forever!
So I’m getting baptized because I truly believe that God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth to die on the cross for all of our sins, and to save us from eternal fire. I am trusting that God is sovereign over everything, including cancer, and that he has a wonderful plan laid ahead for my life, and he will never let Satan take me from his hands.
God is the hero of Victor's story. God has elected, called, justified, and glorified Victor in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:30). Victor was faithful to his Savior, and he sought every opportunity to share what was precious to him. May the Lord be pleased to use the testimony of the Watters family and Victor’s life and death to bring many into his kingdom.
Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere (2 Corinthians 2:14).