My heart is heavy as I write this. Tony Groves Sr was a wonderful man - a godly husband, father, servant, and OVERJOYOUS son of the King.
I'm so sad that we've lost such a great man as Tony. I can't help but contemplate why God would take someone like him home so soon when he could have had such a longer impact for His Kingdom. And yet, I know God has a plan through all of this and there's a much bigger picture than what I can see with my little human eyes.
I know Tony's wife and kids are also just as wonderful and are praising God right now for Tony's amazing life and service. And yet I know they will miss him in so many ways - his contagious smile, his laugh, his voice echoing through the halls of their home just like it did the halls/stairwells/garage of Harvest, his totally on fire attitude for God, and his amazing servant's heart.
I remember when I first met Tony and his family. Tony gave me a great big hug and called me his sister in the Lord. The first time he met my mom he gave her a big hug too and said "hey mom". To Tony, everyone was family, everyone was deeply loved and cared for. I know my husband will sorely miss him. Tim does not have many close friends. Tony deeply cared about Tim & I. We could never get ahold of him... he was always so busy and had so much energy until the past year or so... but when we did see him, he lit up our lives so bright, we will never forget him.
May more people come to know Christ through Tony's death - that they will see the light he carried for Christ for so many years still shines bright, because we will see Tony again when we join him and our Savior someday in heaven. We feel his loss here on earth so desperately, but we rejoice that we will see him again and that now he is in no more pain or sorrow, but instead he's seeing his Savior face-to-face. For that we are very thankful.
This also helps remind us to seize the day. Tim & I had been meaning to go see him for a while now. We went to see him in the hospital in early December after returning from our goodbye visit with my grandma, only to find out after a long process that he'd been released from the hospital. We'd been meaning to get over to their house for weeks now but with my grandma's death it kept pushing us further away from making it there. Just think, we were hoping to go this weekend. How sad. We will still go, but Tony's familiar, smiley although weakened in recent months, face will not greet us again here on earth. The last time I saw him he had been doing so much better... the treatments were going well and he was back to having a lot of strength. I hadn't seen him since he'd gone downhill again in recent months, and now I'm so full of sorrow that I didn't see him one last time. What a strong reminder to all of us to remember to live our lives to the absolute fullest - seize every opportunity that's given to you because you never know when it may either be your last or the last of someone you dearly love. Let's all stop and remember to seize this day and make the most out of it for God's Kingdom and His glory alone.