[This post has been updated here]
I found out from another ministry newsletter that another one of my heroes has passed away as of yesterday.
Jack Frost’s ministry was one of a handful that really hit home for me. His uniquely explicit way that he ministered to the heart of deep rooted emotional and spiritual issues has an ongoing impact upon my own life.
When he came to Cleveland a few years ago, I was playing with the worship band for the conference. I recall one of the worship leaders was stoic as usual despite some inner weariness from a lot of conferences and his own deep unhealed wounds. By the end of the conference this guy was uncharacteristically on the floor weeping and getting healed up, along with many other people.
What started the process in this case (I suspect) was Jack practicing what he preached. He came backstage after our practice, introduced himself, and sincerely thanked us for making time to serve that weekend.
This man knew ministry burnout big time, and lived to tell about it. He coined one of the best terms I’ve heard yet – “hyper-religious activity.” This was his indictment of my preferred means of existence in my college years – staying busy by doing a bunch of religious duties and feeling a bit too happy about it. As opposed to sitting out in humility and not using my works as a way of feeling good about myself.
His stories of the sea and of life as a big time fisherman were legendary and could have come right from the bible, as if he were one of the original disciples. And I’m not really into fishing. It was just that his experiences there were so rife with spiritual meaning and allegory, and nothing was censored out to protect his image. His teaching on Son-ship vs. Orphanhood resonates to this day in my life, even as I pray a spirit of Sonship over my city every day.
I also had the privilege of serving on the prayer team at one of his conferences. In addition to the profound educational experience of learning to minister inner healing at a deeper level, the remarkable thing was that Jack gave us multiple “outs” throughout the training process (required readings and tapes) and right down to the meetings. This meant that the ministry team was required to “stand down” if things began to hit home. We were not to bootstrap ourselves up to serving others if we suddenly needed a touch from God at the end of a session.
From what I understand, Jack’s dream for many years was to sail to Antarctica and back. He was able to realize this dream a couple years ago, and I looked forward to hearing about these adventures in person at a future conference. Not long afterward I heard about the health issue, and have been standing with him and for him in declaring his healing from cancer. This battle has been going on for a couple years, and I would go to his site for updates periodically.
So I have lost another hero to cancer. Through it all, Jack kept his confession strong in God’s victory over disease. When someone close to you dies from a disease such as cancer, there are many opportunities to adjust your theology in accordance with the current experience. I believe that we have the power to heal and be healed through Jesus’ power. I believe that just as Jesus’ sinless death saves those who believe and repent from spiritual death, he also took our diseases and infirmities upon himself. Through his stripes we have been healed.
Often we stand in faith and the person passes on. My best response to this is to show up and cry at the funeral, while continuing to stand firm in believing that God wants to demonstrate his power to heal in our lives. I have no pithy or trite words to explain why Jack was not one of other heroes who have experienced healings in the face of deadly sicknesses. I have no formulas either.
I continue to pray “Your kingdom come, Your will be done”. In a fallen world, I also understand that God’s will usually does not happen, and that it is part of my role to do what little I can to help make more of it happen.
So anyhow, thanks Jack for your transparent example of brokenness, for being unashamed of your own failings and tears, and for calling men in particular to selflessness in being vulnerable and open to the God who wants to fix us.