Published: 5 years ago

When Faith Becomes Sight: Noah’s Story

(photo courtesy WRAL. Click for more.)

Our Summit family lost a warrior this weekend.

Noah Spivey was a seventeen year old who had seen more than his fair share of suffering. For the last four years he’s battled Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that took him in and out of hospitals and clinics around the country as doctors struggled to find a cure, a treatment, anything that would bring healing or at least minimize his symptoms.

I met Noah for the first time a few days after his initial diagnosis four years ago. Yesterday, I told his mom Christine that I remember walking into Duke Hospital, trying to come up with something to say that would encourage him. One chat with Noah assured me that I never needed to worry about that again. That’s because whenever you talked to Noah, you were rarely the one doing the encouraging. You walked away challenged, you walked away humbled, you walked away grateful for how God was working in a young man’s life, even as his life was slipping away.

Noah wore his cancer as a badge. It wasn’t a badge of pity, but rather one of opportunity: he realized that with the cancer came the chance to put his faith on display.

And display it he did.

Noah never lost his love for Jesus. I never heard him question God’s faithfulness even in the midst of excruciating suffering. On the contrary: he said over and over that “What Satan meant to kill me, God is using to give me life.” Those weren’t just clever soundbites for a video, it’s what we all saw Noah live every day.

Even as cancer ravaged him, Jesus was restoring him.

We don’t know why Noah’s story turned out as it did. Our pastor reminded us this weekend that we may never find the silver lining in our suffering. And yes, as a church we prayed for an outcome that would be much, much different.

But the truth is, Noah was healed. Because as we worshipped through tears this weekend, Noah’s faith became sight. His journey with pain was over, but what he believed in his heart is now being seen with his eyes.

As you pray this week, would you pray for Noah’s family? John, Christine, Lisa, Brooke, and Timmy are just beginning life without Noah. Pray that they would live with the same gospel-driven strength they’ve shown throughout Noah’s illness. Pray also for Jason Gaston, our Family Ministries Pastor. I’ve watched my friend Gaston walk faithfully with the Spivey family, and was humbled to see him lead our church so well through a time of grieving reflection this weekend. No student pastor should ever have to bury a student, but he has shown us what it means to trust in Jesus even while dealing with his own pain.

Noah Spivey wasn’t just a special kid. He was a young man who led our church on a journey of faith. He preached the gospel to us constantly for the last four years. He reminded us that joy is not found in perfect health, but in Jesus. His faith led us to greater faith, and our church family is stronger because of what God did through him.

May we all live lives marked with such courage and faithfulness.

  1. ctkcharlotte says:

    Praying for this family.

  2. Alice Dollinger says:

    I was sure by now
    God You would have reached down
    And wiped our tears away
    Stepped in and saved the day
    But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

    As the thunder rolls
    I barely hear You whisper through the rain
    “I’m with you”
    And as Your mercy falls
    I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
    And takes away

    I’ll praise You in this storm
    And I will lift my hands
    For You are who You are
    No matter where I am
    Every tear I’ve cried
    You hold in Your hand
    You never left my side
    And though my heart is torn
    I will praise You in this storm

    As the thunder rolls
    I barely hear You whisper through the rain
    “I’m with you”
    And as Your mercy falls
    I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
    And takes away

  3. Devon Perry says:

    My prayers are with Noah’s family, I know God will give them peace during this time. I would often speak to him about my mothers battle with cancer and how God healed her, for Noah God did one better he took him to be with him in heaven. Noah you will be missed and never forgotten.
    Your Classmate, Devon Perry

  4. Robyn says:

    Well said Danny.

  5. Bruce Ramsey says:

    Just two weeks after joining Boy Scouts, Noah went on his first campout where he had to hike to the top of a mountain with his new scout buddies. We started out and all were happy and exited. As the hike went on, the weather turned first to sprinkles and then into a constant drizzle. One of Noah’s long time friends basically gave into the challenge within site of the top of the mtn. His buddy sat down and just quit. Claimed he could go no more, that was it. Noah went to the other lad and encoraged him to complete the remainder of the short trek to the top. Noah had blue lips from being cold and wet but somehow was able to convince his friend to make it to the top. I am certain Noah had no idea how cold he was but did know he needed to encourage his firend to carry on. Over the next several years, Noah was always exceeding happy and cheerful about every possible activity regardless of the challenges. When ever I think about Noah, I think about that moment on the side of the mountain where he thought of others first.

  6. Kelly says:

    It has been challenging and humbling to see the Spivey family each week at church with Noah. I am part of the seating team and standing in the back it was so humbling to hear them sing “in life, in death – I’m confident and covered by the power of your great love”, and know that they were living it, whereas I am often just singing it. Thankful for the faithful witness of Noah and his family.

  1. […] When Faith Becomes Sight, Danny Franks – Seventeen year old Summit student Noah Spivey lost a fight with cancer last weekend. Through his suffering, Noah never lost his love for Jesus and the Gospel. Summit pastor Danny Franks takes a look at Noah’s life, his faith in the midst of suffering, and the reality that Noah’s faith has now become sight. […]

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