As you probably know, the entire purpose of this blog is to equip you to be effective in being an ambassador for our Lord. In other words, I assume you do want to be faithful with the time God gives you and you want to have the Lord say to you one say “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I think for many of us, we may say at the end of life, “What difference have I really made for the kingdom of God?” We sometimes forget that there is one factor that plays a pivotal role in how much we can be used by God: Our health!
But can a disease or a major setback to our health always mean God can’t use us? Over the last few years, I have discovered this isn’t always the case. It was three years ago that as I was scrolling down my feeds on facebook, I happened to see a face. This face wasn’t like any other face. This face had a smile that was inviting and it just drew me right in. I can think of many times where I might have simply seen a face and just moved on. But not with this one. It was the face of Micah Ahern. Micah was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of cancer that attacks small children. He was diagnosed with this cancer while his family was in China. They ended up moving back to the U.S. to get Micah the proper treatment. Sadly, there is no cure for this form of cancer. Despite the fact Micah had 10 operations since 2010, in early June he went into hospice care. Last week, he lost his earthly life to this illness. I had followed nearly every update on Micah for the last three years. God had called me to be an intercessor for him and his family. Being an intercessor means you are on call 24/7. Though I never got to meet Micah in person (nor his family) I have had the privilege of getting to know his Father. I have watched the strength, grace, faith, and love in action day in and day out with this family for nearly three years. It showed me that the ultimate apologetic is love!
Obviously, I was heartbroken to see Micah lose his battle with this disease last week. But what is amazing is that Micah’s story has spread everywhere. The impact of Micah’s life is not only nationwide but worldwide. Micah had a saying called “Never quit.” He fought so hard and he lived every day to the fullest. He loved his family and friends and touched nearly everyone he came across. He had a smile that could easily make a bad day turn into joy. As of now, it is quite evident that Micah touched more lives in seven years than most people touch in a life time. It is obvious God had a special purpose for Micah. While I know his family grieves over his loss, they know he has no more pain. One thing that I have learned from Micah’s story is that every day counts. Love and appreciate the people God has placed in your life! Appreciate your family! And you never know how you may be impacting another life. You can see some stories about Micah here and here.
One last thing: As you know, I provide a lot of resources on the resurrection on this blog. I have debated and answered several objections on the central tenant of our faith. But it is evident to me that it is only when you lose a loved one that some of the practical issues of the resurrection come to the surface. What difference does the resurrection make at such a time like this? I can say it makes a huge difference! Michael Bird sums it up here:
My favorite scene in The Chronicles of Narnia has to be the resurrection of Aslan. After his cruel execution by the White Witch and her hordes, the two Pevensie girls later hear a large cracking noise. They turn and see that the stone table has broken in two, and the body of Aslan is gone. It’s then that they see the resurrected Aslan emerge against the backdrop of the dawn. The girls are excited but naturally confused, so Aslan explains: Though the witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge only goes back to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would know that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward. In the resurrection of Jesus, death works backward, and God’s kingdom moves forward, propelling us with it toward the new heaven and new earth that lie ever before us.”– What Christians Ought to Believe: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine Through the Apostles’ Creed
In this clip. Micah’s mother talks about how every parent desires God uses their child to make a difference. God has answered that request. I really, really, look forward to meeting Micah some day! My life has been changed forever by him.In the end, cancer didn’t win. Because Jesus is alive, Micah wins!
One thing that needs to be mentioned: Micah Ahren lived almost his entire life with neuroblastoma cancer, As a friend who attended the funeral says: These babies are worth a heck of a lot more than 4%, yet that’s how much The National Cancer Institute budgets for childhood cancer research! Please consider making a donation to the Superhero Micah Foundation in honor of my Micah. Micah’s foundation is committed to increasing awareness and education for neuroblastoma and providing support to families affected, Please share with your friends and family, together we WILL make a difference!!!! Here is the link for the Superhero Micah Foundation.
Finally, let me mention an ancient Jewish prayer. This is part of their regular liturgy and it sums up what will happen with Micah and all those who have trusted His Son!
“You are Lord, are all-powerful forever. You resurrect the dead, You are mighty to save. You sustain the living with loving-kindness, resurrect the dead with great mercy, support the falling, heal the sick, release the prisoners, and uphold Your faithfulness to them that sleep in the dust. Who is like You, Lord of mighty acts, and who resembles You, O King, who orders death and restores life, and causes salvation to come forth? And You are faithful to resurrect the dead. Blessed are You, O Lord, who resurrects the dead.”—The Amidah prayer is very ancient prayer, possibly developed ~ 450 BC by Ezra, Nehemiah.