Grace for Chase
Posted: Mar 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

So here’s a random fact about me that you may not be aware of.  I like to bowl.  I can’t say that I’m very good. But I do enjoy it.  You can imagine how many girls flocked to me in high school when they found out I was a bowler.  I had to beat them off with a stick!  Ok, I made that part up.

I’m a part of a bowling league in Cape Coral that I thoroughly enjoy.  I love the competition and have gotten the opportunity over the last few years to meet some great people that I otherwise would not have gotten the chance to.  When I was bowling this past week, I was made aware of a situation involving a young boy named Chase.  Chase was diagnosed with leukemia 2 years ago and it pains my heart to tell you that he passed away just a few days ago.  He was 8 years old.  Chase’s family will be saying goodbye at a service this weekend.  This truly is the definition of heartbreaking.

As you can imagine, Chase’s family has incurred a substantial medical bill that now leaves his parents in a challenging situation. Not only do they have to say goodbye to their superhero Chase, but they also have to deal with unbelievable costs for his care the last few years.  Because of this situation, family and friends of Chase have organized a fundraiser that will take place on Saturday, March 29th at Pin Street Bowling Center in Fort Myers.  The cost to bowl is $20 per person.  You can bowl as much as you want between 1-5 pm.  There will also be a silent auction as well as a raffle.  100% of the proceeds will go to benefit Chase’s family.  If you can’t bowl very well, join the club. It’s not about your ability to bowl.  It’s about your ability to show up, show support and have a good time.  I can’t wait to involve my kids with this and help them to understand what an absolute privilege life is and why it’s so important that we don’t take it for granted.

To be completely honest with you, I have never met little Chase.  I don’t know his parents.  Chase has lived and fought for his life for the last 2 years and I didn’t even know it.  I don’t know what it is like to have leukemia. I don’t know what it is like to be a parent of a child who has had to deal with cancer.  My youngest daughter Sadie was hospitalized for about a week when she was born with a breathing issue. No parent should have to watch their kid hooked up to that many machines.  I remember feeling overwhelmed and helpless, as it seemed that my child’s future was in the hands of physicians and it seemed like there was nothing I could do.  This family has gone through significantly more than anything I have ever experienced.  I certainly have no clue of the pain that a parent must feel having to say goodbye to their child.  No parent should have to endure that pain.

As a pastor, there are some things I don’t understand or have answers to.  I can’t give an answer as to why Chase had leukemia.  I don’t know why a God that has the ability to heal did not so for this precious little life.  I don’t know why health care coverage is so expensive or why sometimes, life is given and taken away so tragically.  Those are just a few of the questions I can’t wait to ask God someday.  Yet in spite of my questions, I still choose to trust God. Why?  Because He is God and I am not.

I was reading a verse in Romans earlier today that really struck a cord with this situation with Chase.  This is what Romans 8:28 says:

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them”

How in the world is it possible for ANYTHING good to come out of a situation as tragic as this.  I don’t know if I can necessarily answer that.  What I do know is that Chase has inspired hope in more people than I think anyone could possibly imagine.  He has inspired an entire community.  So often, we turn on the news and hear tragic stories that leave us feeling hopeless and confused.  We stand in the middle of chaos and stress and wonder to ourselves, “Where is God in all of this?????”

Sometimes I hear of stories like Chase and think to myself, “what good could I possibly do?”  I’m just one guy.  I don’t have the ability to cure leukemia.  I don’t have the resources to pay for the incredible cost.  I don’t have the words to reassure the family and answer the questions as to why this happened.  But instead of focusing on what I don’t have, it’s time to start focusing on what I do have.  I have the ability to bowl……..kinda.  I have a voice.  I have resources that God has blessed me with.  I have a soul.  Sometimes the way God heals the broken hearts of people and bandages their wounds is by using his followers to do it.

As his followers, it is time that we follow the example of our creator.  He is the heart mender and the burden bearer.  He wants to use us as his church to be the light of the world.  I believe with all of my heart that if Jesus was physically here on this Earth, He would be bowling for Chase on Saturday.  Why?  Because He is a God of compassion.  He doesn’t wait for us to get our lives straight before He comes and rescues us, He always makes the first move.  The good news is that Jesus will be bowling on March 29th. Why?  Because He lives in the hearts of those who strive to roll up their sleeves and shine some light in a world full of darkness.  If you would like more information on how you can get involved, please contact the church office at 239.458.0813.  You can also visit the website www.graceforchase.com to make a donation if you are unable to bowl on the 29th.

I’m bowling for Chase.  I hope to see you there.  Together, let’s make another step towards striking out cancer for good.

With Expectancy!

Corey

corey@firstassemblywest.com