One year ago yesterday, Peter Crawford went home to heaven.
This was the day we had been praying about. We had asked God to allow Scott to be home by August 21 so that he could spend the day with Peter’s family, remembering his best friend. And God answered our prayers abundantly.
We met Peter and Amanda and their children four years ago when their family moved to Redding. They started attending our church and joined the bible study we hosted in our home. We quickly became fast friends. Scott and Peter developed the kind of friendship that few men seem to share. The kind of friendship that was full of fun, laughter and “manly” activities but also contained a depth as they were real with each other and with the Lord. They prayed together. They worshipped together. They held each other accountable.
In May of 2011, Peter was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. By August 21, Peter was dead. Three short months from diagnosis to death. Three short months to fight the disease, to create memories, to say goodbye.
Just days before Peter died, he experienced healing. That’s right. He was healed. For one night.
For weeks he had been in so much pain that he could barely walk. His arm was in a sling and he was unable to lift it more than 2 inches away from his body. He moaned continually. He had a hard time opening his eyes because the lights caused severe headaches.
And then on a Friday evening following a day where Peter’s friends and family fasted and prayed for healing, Peter and Amanda experienced a miracle. They received a gift from God. One last pain-free night to spend together.
There is a video of that evening. Pete and Amanda wanted to document the goodness of our God as they said their goodbyes. One of Peter’s dear friends transcribed the video and I have shared this with you here. As you read this, let it remind you of the goodness of our God. Through the trials of this life, He is good. Through the valley of the shadow of death, He is good. Through our uncertainties and fears of the future, He is good.
Transcript of Pete and Amanda’s version of good Friday:
Amanda: It’s Friday, August 12th  and we were just wanting to document what God is doing in our lives right now.
Peter: …and the progress of the cancer that is in my body. My arm has been in a sling for probably the last two weeks.
Amanda: And in a great deal of pain.
Peter: A great deal of pain. I would have to lift my arm up just to do something like this [he lifts his right arm with his left arm, only bending at the elbow]. And yet God through His provision is just…He’s healing me. Slowly. Not fast. Slowly. So I can do this [He raises both arms above his head in praise].
Amanda: [She laugh/cries].
Peter: Just give Him glory for what He’s doing in my life, and how He’s changing my heart. To focus on Him. To Him be the glory, not anything else. [Peter is waving both arms above his head back and forth, pain free]. Whether He takes my life or He keeps it, it’s all for His glory. And I just praise Him that I can do this. And I just look forward to seeing what He’s going to continue to do. But again, whether that’s on earth or in heaven, to Him be the glory. Amen.
Amanda: And we were saying that if He were to heal you for one more day, we’re thankful. Thankful for one more day. One more day with our kids. One more day with each other.
Peter: It’s all a blessing. It’s better than anything life can give. Amanda and I have had such an awesome evening. We’ve just been here at the house, dancing, praying, listening to music, just praising our Lord Jesus for all that He’s done in our lives. And how He takes schmucks like us who make stupid decisions and choices in life, and just turns them…He uses those to bring us to our knees so that we can see every trial is actually a blessing. And only when you go through that trial, can you understand that it is a blessing. And the world will never understand that. You have to go through it to experience it, so that you can even understand what this means. I’m not a guy just waving my arms, I’m a guy that’s praising the Lord because He’s doing great things. And He’s going to continue to do great things. He wants to do it in all of our lives. But we have to submit. And sometimes we submit willingly, and sometimes we don’t, but it’s all coming from a heart where He wants to bring us into connection with Him so that we can enjoy His presence. So I’m nothing more, than I’m just happy to be a guy who has stage 4 cancer—they don’t even know what kind of cancer it is—and I can wave my arm, and I wasn’t even able to wave it two days ago. Even this morning. God’s so good, and we’re just enjoying the Lord right now. I just praise God that He’s divine. He’s bigger than this world.
Amanda: And this is not all that we have to look forward to.
Peter: No, this isn’t all we have.
Amanda: This is nothing.
Peter: You know, I’m a 35 year old guy just enjoying my bride. You know we don’t know what the future’s going to hold, but God is so good. And I’m excited just this moment. Not about the future, not about a minute ago, but just right now. Because God is in the moment and He wants us to enjoy this moment. And I’ve been made weak so that He is strong, and I pray, “God, more of You, less of me.” And in order for that to happen He has to drain me, and He has to bring me low in order for you [us] to become more of Him. He must always have supremacy. He doesn’t share His glory with anyone. He shares it with no one. He’s God and God alone. And I praise Him for that. Cause I fought against that for years. There’s times I questioned Him. And I questioned, God, why do You allow things to happen? It just seems so illogical. But you know what? I don’t have everything up here [points to his head]. And it’s when you’re brought low, and Christ is brought up, that things start to come into clarity, and that you start to understand that there’s so much more than what I can see, what the mind can comprehend. He’s God. Not me. He’s God. And so again, I just… I’m a guy waving my arms, got cancer; don’t know what’s going to happen. But I’ve had a…I’ve had a wonderful time with the Lord. I’m not saying this is a permanent healing, but for this second right now I’m praising the Lord. And that’s all that matters. That’s all that matters.