IVP - Online Pulpit

July 16, 2015

Joy in the Journey

Steve Hayner was serving as president of Columbia Seminary and was healthy and fit when he found out he had terminal pancreatic cancer in the spring of 2014. As a result they uncovered the remarkable truth that God, our good Shepherd, provides a feast for us when we are in the valley of the shadow of death as well as in the green pastures.

Steve and his wife Sharol wrote about their journey for CaringBridge.org and those reflections have been published in Joy in the Journey (InterVarsity Press, 2015). Below is an excerpt from the book that Sharol wrote early in their journey and a short clip of Mark Labberton, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, from Steve’s memorial service.

“We continue to be carried through this somewhat surreal experience. Mostly I am in awe and very thankful for the gifts of friendship and encouragement.

“I’ve always had music in my head, and it is now there more than ever. Today I’m singing over and over in my mind a song called “Still” by Hillsong: “Find rest my soul in Christ alone.”

“Steve has good days and bad days, sometimes with enough energy to walk a block and sometimes not. Sometimes he can eat and sometimes not. Today is ending better than it began.

“In the meantime, I’m trying to attend some of the many May programs and recitals of our granddaughters. It’s good to remember what normal life feels like. And we anticipate a new grandson in Nashville in the next two weeks. Life goes on.

“Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:9-11 come to mind often. Coming out of a desperate situation, he writes,

Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death so that we would rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again, as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

“May it be so.”

Posted by Nate Baker-Lutz at 9:39 AM