be of good cheer—the point of this blog

In Matthew 14, the disciples are facing a storm. They are sinking and fearful of destruction. They are anxious and overwhelmed—focused on survival. Their world is chaos, confusion, desperation. And in the middle of this madness, Jesus Christ comes to them literally walking on the water. Their first thought—it’s a ghost! As if a life threatening storm isn’t enough, now we have to deal with evil spirits! But then Jesus calls out to them…

“…Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” (Matt. 14:27)

Did he really just say that? In the middle of a chaotic, life threatening torrent, he calls out a standard picnic greeting—”Be of good cheer!” Really? Be of good cheer? Like—smile, laugh, slap each other on the back, relax, have a good time? In a storm? Hmmm… in a storm, Jesus says to experience cheer! Now that’s a different take on life for sure!

And so is this blog—a different take on life, on cancer, and on what’s really important. One month ago I received news that I had lymphoma. A couple weeks later I got a phone call that it was Hodgkins—good news in the cancer world—but hey, it’s still cancer. And in those moments I had to make a choice. Do I sit down in the face of this storm and just pout and pity myself, or is there a better way to respond? Is there a greater significance to all this? Perhaps I can use this to help others.

And then I read Matthew 14. Not long after Jesus says, “Be of good cheer” he invites Peter out on the water. He tells him to step out of the boat and come to him. And Peter obeyed. Oh sure, moments later he lost his whits and became fearful of the storm—but he left the boat! Gotta hand it to him! He obeyed.

And so, a few weeks ago, Jesus essentially did the same with me. He brought me into a storm, shouted to me, “be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid” and then said, “come”—inviting me onto the water. And I’m trying to be like Peter and obey. I’m out on the water, in the storm, rejoicing, and occasionally noticing the raging waves as well. But generally rejoicing. And I’m discovering a lot! A lot about my God, my own heart, and what’s really important in life.

So that’s what you can expect on this blog—stuff about cancer, stuff about HodgkinsLymphoma, stuff about treatments, and stuff about the life experiences of trying to stay alive for my family and for the service of Christ. I’m warning you—at times I will share the humor, other times the depths of the struggle, and other times the biblical thoughts that provide grace and strength. Whatever the case, it will all be written with a spirit of “good cheer” just as Jesus commanded.

If you are family and friends—this is where you can follow the unfolding work of God in my life and our family. If you happened across this blog from google or from another link—then you are the main reason I’m doing this. In a world of uncertainty and an internet full of pointless drivel and discouraging cancer news—perhaps these posts will point you to my best friend and Saviour—Jesus Christ. He alone can walk with your through your trial and help you see His eternal purpose in it all.

So, no matter where you are—hear and consider the words of Jesus, “Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid!

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5 Responses to be of good cheer—the point of this blog

  1. Carol Burgess says:

    The picture of the desert sky is beautiful. My husband, Phil, found it while we were at lunch. Thank you for the update on your testing and treatment. We are praying for all of you. Singing “From My Heart” tomorrow at the evening service.

  2. Al Price says:

    Thanks for being a godly example during such a difficult time. My heart and prayers are with you and your family and I promise to pray for you as I start each day. May the Lord give me the strength and the grace to”Be of good cheer” when difficulties come my way. The Lord has used you once again to be an encouragement to me…Thanks!!!

  3. Pam Hastings says:

    Brother Schmidt – I have been following every blog since you shared your diagnosis. Your humor, resilient spirit, your leaning on God and then pointing others to Christ is such a refreshing thing. Rarely have I read such real stuff from someone facing a serious trial and your blog quite honestly is one of the most encouraging pieces that I have read in a long time. I am flat out amazed at your attitude and insight and it is changing my perspective about other problems and trials that are not medically related. I am looking forward to each post….keep pressing on…I am so thankful for Christians like you….as there are not many. God Bless….and keep smiling and keep writing……The Hastings Family

  4. Ronda Cray says:

    As soon as Dana told me I have been praying for you and your family and I wanted to let you know that your words have encouraged ME tonight. I have been going through a painful trial and I know God is in control, but then some days, I get doubts that if God is in control then how could He want that??? and then I remember He sees the whole picture and knows what is best. But I have struggled with “being of good cheer” even though I know it is His Will and He allowed it to happen for a purpose. You, Dana and your kids are examples of “being of good cheer in the midst of the storm!”
    THANK YOU! Ronda

  5. I agree with what has been said. Thank you for being a good example, but also thank God for providing good examples to others of us who are going through the storms! Recently, Micki Harjo, one of my friends, was suddenly stricken with cancer and died mere weeks later. I was floored. She was such a soul winner! A missionary wife to the Navajos. She was serving God and such a testimony! Why would God allow this to happen? But in watching the way she dealt with it, I realized she was STILL being a testinony! She was a testimony and witness and example to all the rest of us facing troubles and trials and turmoil in our lives. Thank you for your example, and God bless you! Praying for you and your family!

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