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Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. MATTHEW 18:4
Thomas Epting’s young body began showing its first signs of leukemia when he was only two years old. By age four, there was no doubt. And after the disease had ebbed and resurfaced once again at age seven, his family understood that Thomas’s childhood was not going to be normal . . . at least not in the way our world defines “normal.”
They were right. But not just because of the complications and chemo treatments.
How normal is it for a young boy to never complain about shot needles and hospital stays—not even once? How normal is it to hear a child say, after being told of his need for yet another procedure, “I just want God to be glorified in this, and I don’t want to embarrass Him”?
Thomas was a remarkable boy, indeed.
There was a period of years when Thomas’s physical suffering was graciously relieved by the hand of God. His leukemia was gone. Undetectable.
He used the time to read every book written by A. W. Tozer. He wrote profound Christian poetry. He took the SAT at 13 and outscored his parents’ high-school marks.
But at 15, he received bad news. Not one but five malignant, inoperable brain tumors had been seen on an X-ray. The setback sent his mom and dad into a parent’s tailspin.
But his mom, Amy, remembers a day, barely a month before his death, when she was talking with Thomas about how she should pray for him. He flashed those twinkling eyes at her and said, “Mom, you think too much! God sent His Son to die for me! If He never did anything else for me, sending Jesus is enough for me to praise Him as long as I live. Just focus on that, Mom, and quit worrying about the tumors!”
Give me Thomas Epting’s brand of normal. I could use some of it today.
Apply Thomas’s wisdom to one of your own struggles right now.
Pray as Thomas did: “Sending Jesus to die for my sins is enough for me to praise You as long as I live.”