UPDATE: David Landrith, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church, joined Jesus in heaven this morning, November 18, 2014. He now rests in the shadow of the Amighty. Please continue to pray for his family and his church. I’m so sad today, yet grateful for the privilege of having just a small connection with his people, for having heard him preach, and for serving orphans in Haiti with teams sent out from the church. Pastor David’s love for and trust in Jesus deepened my own, and he strengthened me by his strength in suffering. In the end, cancer loses, David wins, and he lives on in the presence of the great Who. His leaving has left a big hole, but it’s one cushioned by hope. God’s not done with David, and He’s never done with us. Thank you, Pastor David. Well done, you good and faithful servant. You ran the race. You won the prize.
This post originally appeared here on March 11, 2013.
UPDATE #2: Long Hollow will celebrate David’s life on Friday, November 21 at 5 p.m. CST. It will be streamed live and recorded here.
March 11, 2013…
Last Thursday I wrote about crushing and brokenness and how it’s the crushed who seep the sweetest fragrance and how the broken and the bent bend the brightest light. I wrote about hope in the face of disappointment and life-shattering circumstances.
The next day, I learned that David Landrith, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church out of Hendersonville, Tennessee, has been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer–colorectal melanoma. (I traveled to Haiti in December with a team from this church.)
One minute he and his wife were gathering fresh feathers to fluff their soon-to-be-empty nest, and the next being told that their future would look far different from what they dreamed. The diagnosis carries a very grim prognosis.
It’s a crushing blow.
But it’s in our why-me moments, he reminds us, that we need to remember that the right question is not “why” but “Who.”
Who loves us so much He gave up everything and was crushed as a fragrant offering for us?
Who is in control of everything in heaven and on earth?
Who promises to never, no not ever, leave us?
Who works good out of every circumstance for those who love Him?
Even though it may not be in our lifetime.
Sometimes it takes something like cancer to bring clarity to our priorities.
David reminds us to never, no not ever, take our time on this earth for granted.
To remember that this breath could be our last.
To never waste our cancers or our crushings.
And to cling to that red cord of hope.
A hope that’s not in the rescue but in the Rescuer.
He covets prayers for miraculous healing, of course, but also for peace and strength and faith and rest in God’s sovereignty–for himself and his whole family. For wisdom for the doctors because this type of cancer is so very rare.
But most of all, his heart’s longing is that others will see the difference that Jesus can make when our earthly life seems to spin out of our control.
Pray that he would dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in the shadow of the Almighty, that he would find refuge under His wings and remain enfolded in the cover of His feathers.
The church posted yesterday’s sermon. It’s powerful. You don’t want to miss it. Trust me on this.
Would you #PrayForDavid?
Would you pray for David’s family and church as they now grieve–but not as those who have no hope?
“This is a special message from David Landrith, recorded live at our Hendersonville campus on March 10, 2013 (11:45 am service). In this message, David explains how he has been recently diagnosed with cancer and how he intends to live his last days.”
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. ~Psalm 90:12
In the stillness