Expectations of God

I mentioned my friend Dave Wenzel a few weeks ago in this post. I met Dave about a year and a half ago, and he's been a great friend ever since. Dave is a sweet, kind guy who takes life head on. He's one of those guys who seems to have a genuine joie de vivre which would be annoying in life coaches and motivational speakers, but it's not annoying in Dave. It draws you in. Which is a good thing, since Dave loves people.

Dave is one of the last guys I'd expect something bad to happen to, maybe as a vestige of some sort of karmic belief. So, of course, something bad happened.

First, Dave was being Dave and hit his head fake kung-fu fighting at some conference in the Bay Area. Then he had some seizures because of bleeding in his brain. Then, Dave was diagnosed with brain cancer. You can read about the whole thing here.

And it seems unfair, but we know nothing is really fair in this world, not even our salvation. Life is about grace and rarely is there what we deem justice.

So then I'm left praying for healing, which is not comfortable for me. It's not lack of belief. I know God can heal Dave, and the cancer could recede. Or God could guide the hands of Dave's surgeons at the Mayo Clinic and cut the cancer away for good.

But I rarely expect God to do so. Maybe it's a reactionary lean away from charismatic faith, because sometimes charismatic faith seems to create false hope, or seems to assume it knows better than God.

I know healing happens, though, and I know my Western reason and stabs at intellectualism often blind me to spiritual realities. So I'm praying for Dave to heal, and for his speech and writing ability to remain. The world is better off if he's here and working to make it better.

In the meantime, it's been a joy watching the Wenzel's faith, and the faith of their close friends, and how people reach out to help. It wouldn't hurt if you prayed for him, too, even if you don't know him. At the very least, read Dave's blog.

(That picture above is Dave diving off a wooden walkway near Young Life's Malibu retreat in British Columbia last summer, a stunt which now seems even more idiotic than it did then.)

Addendum: I sent Dave this link today. It's one of my favorite Onion articles from many years back.


  1. Thanks for this, Jordan. Both his and his wife's blog posts about this topic are a great combination of inspiring and funny. Together, they demonstrate an intentional focus on using this to turn people to God. It was a huge boost for me to read this.

  2. I will definitely keep him in prayer!

  3. Praying for Dave and laughing... a lot... while reading his blog. Thanks for the introduction and a reminder of how bad I suck.

  4. thanks for this Jordan...there's a large medical community in the church I pastor here in Seattle and I've had numerous conversations with some of them about the issue of our expectations with regard to prayer and healing. It seems that, the more we see of requests for healing met with seeming silence, the more difficult it is to know just how to pray. I'm always reminded of that story in the Bible about the pesky lady who bugs the judge relentlessly... keep on asking. Sometimes the answers are visible and desired -often there's silence. But it's that "sometimes..." piece that gives me hope, and the courage to keep asking

  5. Jordan, you did an interview with me two years ago concerning O Holy Night! I just thought that you might like to know I have posted a video on Youtube. The direct address is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiAuyM3gB5U

    Feel free to pass it on. I am releasing all details since some of my students at Belmont University have already put my name out as the real singer of the internet version.