Pastor Josiah has known Jason David since his days as a youth pastor, and they have had
great connection. Jason David began his message as he shared various experiences: a skunk
sprayed him; a beaver chased him; an opossum ambushed him; three sharks surrounded Jason and his wife off the coast of San Diego; Jason survived tongue cancer. People label others through their tragedy, but people are more than the tragedy. Jason David is more than the cancer guy, and he explained “How I Survived” through these actions: speak life; move forward, and never give up.
An experience that Jason shared was his hobby of searching for Waldo in the books. The
publisher promised Waldo was on every page of the books; all you had to do is keep going. Just like in Jeremiah, the LORD said, “Search for me. You will find me.” The publisher’s pledge of Waldo’s existence on each page gave Jason peace; it is similar to the LORD saying in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you.”Jason stated,”I keep searching because of the promise. He is there every time.”
However, he tried a downloaded version of Where’s Waldo; they were pirated pictures.
Sometimes he would look for two weeks or more for Waldo and did not find him. Then he
discovered that Waldo was photoshopped out of the pirated versions. He did not go to the true source but tried a counterfeit; he would be still searching if he had not learned that Waldo was scrubbed out of the pictures. Going to the true source instead of the fake was the lesson. The Word of the LORD, the sword of the Spirit is the source we need to seek if we want to find out the promises and the Promise Keeper.
Jason then told of the Moses versus Pharaoh situation. Moses was a stutterer, and God told him to go to Pharaoh to speak for the LORD. How can a person with a speech challenge be the spokesman for a nation to be freed? For Jason, the LORD took his weakness-his lisp- and
made it a strength. He is voice of the cartoon Llama.
“The power of life and death is in the tongue. Either speak life or shut up,” boldly stated Jason.
Moses cried out to the LORD,”Where are you?”
God asked,”Why are you screaming at me?
Moses, go forward.”
The LORD wanted Moses to keep moving forward. Moses, though in his own strength, could not move forward with the Red Sea in front of the Israelite slaves and him. Neither can we move forward in our own power. The LORD will not steer the car unless you are in the car and turn on the engine. You need to start the car to move forward.
It is easy for us to ask the LORD for a word. Sometimes we ask him,”Lord, why have you
stopped talking?“ Jason asked, “Is it that you want a different word from the LORD? Do you
want something that does not require faith?” Or do you want to stay within your comfort zone? Jason recommended that you return to the last statement the LORD said to you and do it. To Moses he said,”Move forward.” The Red Sea was a gigantic barrier to moving forward. The LORD instructed him,
”Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea
to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through
the sea on dry ground.”
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and
all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong
east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were
divided.” Exodus 14:16,21 (NIV)
The Egyptian army was chasing the runaway Israelite slaves who had the Red Sea in front of
them. But God…Moses obeyed the LORD and stretched out his hand over the sea all night.
The eastern wind blew into Moses’ and the Israelites’ faces. The circumstances did not look
good, but Moses obeyed the LORD. “….and the Israelites went through the sea on dry
ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” Exodus 14:22 (NIV) Moses kept
standing, all night with his hand stretched out.
Have you ever talked about God while you were in crisis and He did not appear to show up?
“Keep standing. God will show up. God always come through.” Every year the Israelites had
God resubmit His resume. When all breaks loose, you keep standing, all night. Jason asked,
”Have you ever asked God, ‘Why don’t you do it in my time?’” If that happened, then God is you. Moses kept standing, and the water fell back. When the time was right, the walls came crumbling down, and the Red Sea engulfed Egyptians.
When Jason was twenty eight years old, he was diagnosed with stage four tongue cancer. They took eighty percent of his tongue and treated the cancer with eight weeks of chemo and thirty five sessions of radiation. He was miserable after the operation and was struggling to breathe through his mouth, nose, and the tube in his neck. He felt fear, panic, betrayal but not God or peace. He was struggling. At one point Jason had given up and wanted to die. His wife came into his room after working two jobs to pay for his medical bills. She could see that Jason had given up. She took his hand and said…nothing. Then she wept.
A parallel situation was with Mary and Martha’s brother Lazarus who was sick. They sent Jesus an urgent message. Jesus came late. When they told Him that Lazarus was dead, Jesus said nothing. He wept. He asked Mary and Martha to take Him where Lazarus was buried. Whatever is in the dark, that you have buried, cannot be healed. The buried needs to be in the light. Jason reminded us that it’s okay to not to be okay. God is fine. A real relationship is built on trust. They took Jesus to the burial site.
Jason’s wife started to sing,”Come though font of every blessing. ” Then she made up words
and authentically worshiped the LORD. She sang, ”You are a good God” over and over again. In a moment he felt warm, and Jason slept for the first time in three days. He slept fifteen hours. “God didn’t give up on me. My wife didn’t give up. I didn’t give up.”
Speak life. Move forward. Never give up. You only lose when you give up.
In closing, the doctors told him that he would never speak again and not walk. But Jason David chose to stand and worship God.
“God is good before the miracle and after the miracle
He is still God. He is still good even when life is not.
My circumstances don’t change who He is. He changes
We need to not give up for the generations following us. It is like the ripple effect Pastor Josiah shared. Your stand speaks to those after us. Speak life through worship. Jason David wrote a song that speaks life.”You Are Greater Than These Walls.” That is his song that declares Jason will keep his eyes on the LORD and watch the walls crumble.
Jason is light in a dark world and he reminded us to speak life, move forward and never give up. May we also be salt and light in this world.