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A Friend Like Jesus: A Tribute to Bob Swan

Sometimes God brings someone into our lives, even if for a moment in time, for us to see His glory.

For me, that someone was Bob Swan.

Bob and I met just one short month before God called him home. We were connected through a mutual friend and it was apparent immediately of his incredible love for the Lord. Bob was excited and eager to work together to see the gospel go forth among the deaf community. He saw an urgent need, so we worked quickly to make content available.

Bob encouraged me daily with reminders that I was a precious daughter of the King and doing His work.

What I most appreciate about Bob during our very short earthly friendship was his attitude of joy. He was recently cleared of cancer just before meeting Jesus. His outlook on his health had been, “may God be glorified in my life whether I have cancer or not.”

Philippians 1:20, “…Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”

In Scripture we see this overflowing from the Apostle Paul, who spoke those words in Philippians and who also encountered a thorn in the flesh. Though we don’t know exactly what this “thorn in the flesh” was for Paul, his attitude was as such:

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10

In John Piper’s most recent book publication, “Coronavirus and Christ,” Paul’s thorn in the flesh is also mentioned. In chapter 9, page 85, of his book, Piper says, “To see the beauty of Christ, to cherish Christ as his supreme treasure, to show Christ to the world as better than health and life- that was Paul’s joy.”

That was Bob’s joy too.

Bob served, he taught, he encouraged and He loved Jesus. In one short month, he impacted my life tremendously and gave me significant encouragement in ministry and in my personal relationship with the Lord. Bob was an answer to prayer, a long-time prayer. He was a sweet reminder that God has a plan and a purpose for all who seek to put Him first.

May we all live each day in hope to impact those around us with the shining light of Jesus. Let us be beacons, guiding others clearly and directly to the glory of God, even if only for a moment in time.

Thank you Bob, my precious brother in Christ for your friendship and commitment to the cross.

2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”