When exceptional people enter our lives, we immediately take note. They have a way of stopping us in our tracks and helping us to see the world in a way we were never able to before. For that reason, we never speak of them in the past tense, because they continue to shape our life and thinking long after they pass from this life to the next. Thomas Epting is one of those rare young men . . .
Diagnosed with cancer from an early age, Thomas lived most of his life battling this terrible disease. However, he was never crushed by the weight of battle. He continued to enjoy all the things that reflect the beauty of living: friends, family, hobbies, and, most especially, an unrelenting faith. His faith, steadfast and powerful, was extraordinary in an ordinary sort of way. No pontification or showmanship, just the simple belief that Jesus Christ is who He says He is. That He could be trusted with everything, most assuredly, your life. Living or dying, Thomas was content to do just that.
Diagnosed or undiagnosed, each of us mirrors Thomas experience in a universal way: every single day we continue to live while we are dying. The wonder of a life well-lived, no matter the duration, is knowing what Thomas unwaveringly affirmed: in Christ, life ultimately leads to life. Thomas understood this more clearly than most, and His trust in Jesus Christ was the inexhaustible wellspring of His life.
The Apostle Paul's words echo the power of the truth Thomas proclaimed: “That's why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that He could be our Master across the entire range of life and death.” (Romans 14:9, The Message)
- Robin Gramling
The Thomas Epting Faith Fund is maintained by the Community Foundation of Greenville, South Carolina.
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