On March 31, 2012, my close friend and mentor, Scott Thomas, went to be with the Lord after fighting stage 4 lung cancer for four months.  Approximately one week prior, I went to visit him in the hospital where he told me that it was no accident that we met. 

(BACK FLASH:  I came to him in the Spring of 2005 because I doubted my faith.  I knew that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, but I did not feel anything towards that matter.  Furthermore, I was not connected anywhere and that resulted in me not having any friends.  It was because I expressed doubt in my faith, the first thing he did was pray with me the “sinners prayer” where I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart once again.  From that moment on all the way to the end of his life here on earth, he provided me guidance, he saw my limits and gently pushed me past those to continue taking the next step in life, even though I do not see where the stairs lead.  He always did his best to hold me accountable, making sure that I stay connected to a body of believers and participate with them.)

At the hospital, Scott said that I was a blessing in his life for two reasons.  First, as a brother in Christ who received assurance of the faith in Christ.  Secondly, a witness to the amount of growth in my faith and trust in Christ.  My reaction was a loss of words.  The only thing I was able to say was that he has been a great blessing to me.  That, of course, is a great understatement.  I honestly do not know where I would be if I had not met him.  Scott was a man who not only believed in the truth of the Bible, but lived it and encouraged everyone he met to live as a saved child of God.  While battling cancer, he posted blogs to the caringbridge website and in less than four months time, his blog received 45,000 views!  At his wake, there was a tremendous line of people, that literally went out the door, who were inspired by Scott to pay their respects.      

I know that after Scott took his last breath, he met with Jesus Christ face to face and heard, to some extent, Jesus say: “Well done good and faithful servant.  You have finished the race and kept the faith.  I have now given you rest and you will no longer have pain or sorrow.”  As for us who are still living in this world, Psalm 30:5 tells us that sorrow lasts for the night, but Joy comes in the morning.  Why is this?  Because there is still work to be done, souls to be won.  We find in Matthew 9:37 that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Galatians 6:8-10 says, “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

When a loved one leaves this world to enter eternal life, it is important for us to simply be still and know God, understand Him as Creator, Author and Perfecter of Life, Savior and Redeemer.  It is also important to keep in mind that we can not dwell in sorrow forever.  In  Ecclesiastes 3, we read that “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens…What do workers gain from their toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.  He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.  That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil this is the gift of God.  I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.”

Here is a personal prayer provided by the 40 days of community by Rick Warren that Scott fulfilled everyday of his life.  May this be our prayer as well:

 “Father, help me commit to living better together in the community of my church family and neighborhood.  Help me to love by bringing out the best in others, sharing my faith boldly, glorifying God with others, living as the Body of Christ, and serving sacrificially.”  In Jesus Name, Amen.