Behind the Story of “Set My Hope”- Part 2

Be sure to check out part 1 of the story.


During this time, Bill White held out Romans 8 as a source of encouragement to us.  Paul’s words in this chapter give comfort and hope, not because they promise deliverance from death, but because they acknowledge the weight of death and suffering, and remind us that God agrees with us in our aversion to it.  Not only that, He has conquered death and is with us in the face of it.

The further we walked into the unknown, the more certain we became that God was sovereign over us and we could trust Him, regardless of the outcome.  And though what our hearts wanted was to put our hope in the temporary…in the deliverance of our son from death…God reminded us over and over that our hope is found in the work He already did to conquer death, that His kingdom is eternal, and that death does not ultimately win.  His work not only conquers death, it conquers the cause of death, our sin.  Romans 8:10-12 reminds us of the relationship of sin to death, and Christ to life:

10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

I like to say that God sometimes has a “Plan C” when all you can fathom is a “Plan A” or “Plan B”. We prayed for God to heal Cohen…to make his lungs larger…to reverse the whatever genetic problems were causing the issue.  We prayed for that constantly, but also recognized that God may not move in that way, so we prayed that God would give us strength and help us to walk into the face of death with peace and trust.

God did in fact have a “Plan C” that we could not have anticipated.  He did not heal Cohen’s genetic makeup; He did not make his lungs larger.  But against all odds, He allowed Cohen to live.  Cohen will be 7 this March.  He has a rare form of dwarfism that affects him in many ways, but we are humbled and grateful for what God did.  We also believe we have a unique responsibility to encourage others in the face of death.  We, of course, can and do encourage others that God is sovereign and can move in ways you would never expect, but more importantly, we encourage people that there is no place or circumstance that goes outside of God’s reach.  He walks with us, even in death.

On behalf of our worship staff, I hope that the words to this song help you to internalize the message of Romans 8.  Praise be to Jesus who conquered the grave!

-Chris McGowan

You can view the lyrics to “Set My Hope” here.