Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, lies just beneath October’s calendar page. Before we flip the page to November, I’ve decided to get a head start in introducing you to some people outside my family who have gone on to Glory, but whose influence continues to live on in the hearts of many. These are just a few of the droplets making up my great cloud of witnesses. You’ll get to meet a new person each week throughout November.
Several years ago, Ron and I got to know Tom, a man who loved God, his sweet family, and his church. He and his wife helped complete our little band of cowpoke-wannabes who eagerly traveled wherever horse-riding trails ran headlong into sunsets. We cooked over campfires, wore horse smell like badges of honor, and retold stories that tended to stretch with each telling. Good times with good friends.
Sadly, we soon learned Tom had cancer. I know they said he was taking chemotherapy, but I’m not so sure. It seemed to me that with every treatment he was getting another infusion of Holy Spirit power. He became a man on a mission; a man who would not let you leave his presence until you knew the Jesus he loved. Cancer had catapulted his passion to share Jesus to a level I had never witnessed before – ever! He knew his time was short, so with a contagious enthusiasm he continued doing what he was made to do! His passion changed me. I wanted what he had! Oh sure, he hurt and the treatments made him sick, but through it all there was a joy that was:
Psalm 139 tells us that all the days ordained for us were written in God’s book before one of them came to be. God knew before Tom’s birth how many days he had to walk this earth, but Tom didn’t know. Perhaps he held on to this advice in Hebrews 3:13, “But encourage each other daily, as long as it is called “Today”, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Tom made the most of every opportunity better than anyone I know.
Perhaps, you’re in life’s whirlwind right now having the time of your life. You’re basking in the world’s applause. Give God the credit, courageously step through your door of opportunity that’s bound to open, and then share Jesus.
Maybe life has you sidelined. Things haven’t gone your way, and all you want to do is poke your lip out and say, “Hey, what about me?” Take a look down the bench at those beside you. Do they need an encouraging word? What about those in the limelight? Could they use some motivation to keep on keeping on?
Sharing Jesus was a priority for Tom before cancer, but afterwards, he continued to passionately share Him over coffee at McDonald’s, in the doctor’s office, and even as he sat in the chemo chair. Satan’s cancer may have stolen Tom from this earth, but his example of joy in the face of suffering continues to publicize the peace that comes from being infused with the Holy Spirit’s power.
May the Spirit fill each of our ordained days with a passion to share Jesus that is supernatural, uncontainable, and unstoppable.