It has been years since I cried thousands of tears, but I did it again just last week. A family that has been near and dear to us for at least 15 years lost one of their own to cancer. Their husband and dad, Gary Saxon, was promoted to heaven at 35 years old. He leaves behind his faithful wife, Brittany, and two precious daughters, Ravyn, 17, and Riley, 14.

Gary accomplished so many things during his life. He was a dear son, husband, dad, and coach; he excelled in his career, and we saw such a man of courage during his 15-month battle with cancer. He grew by leaps and bounds in his relationship with the Lord; he witnessed to everyone about his Savior; he praised the Lord continually, and he never gave up on his healing this side of heaven, and I didn’t either. There were so many times when I referred to myself as Martha or Mary in John 11. “Okay Lord. Where are you? I know you can heal Gary; please God let today be the day.”

We all knew God could heal Gary and allow him to walk in health, but God had other plans for Gary’s healing. He was made whole when he entered heaven just over a week ago.

During my ministry people I’ve watched people go through many difficult situations and I’ve been asked so many times, “Why did this happen?” Honestly, I’ve asked the same question as I look at his beautiful family, and at other times in my life.

Scripture tells us that God’s ways are higher than ours, and I know we can trust Him. He is faithful. He will bring us through heartache, and comfort us throughout our days.

We can even look for good to come from bad situations. I promise you this. I have a closer relationship with the Lord because of Gary’s walk with the Lord through his sickness. As I watched Gary’s fleeting breaths, I was reminded each breath is a gift of God. Life is a vapor; eternity is forever, and there is nothing more important than living for the Lord every day.

God also used Gary’s heavenly healing to allow others to hear the gospel. As a result of his celebration of life service, five people accepted the Lord as their personal Savior, and that’s only the beginning. I believe Gary’s family will continue to hear more testimonies about lives that were changed forever. Keep in mind Gary received his ultimate victory, and ours will come.

Today, my goal is to encourage everyone who is facing a giant. If we are sick, God will heal us according to His will. If we are struggling, let us look to Him for strength for the journey. If we are lonely, He will Comfort us. If we are lost, Jesus is offering new life in Him. He will guide us through this life, and He will lead us into an eternity.

If Gary could send us a message today, I’m sure he would tell us to live for the Lord, serve only Him, and let us know that heaven is such a beautiful place.

Sherry Lewis is a resident of Maysville.

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