With the many things on my heart these days, I wish I could talk to my Dad. He was always a good listener, not saying very much while you talked through whatever you were dealing with… his responses were invariably to the point and laced with kindness, being that he never wanted to hurt anyone. What I enjoyed the most about my Dad was his authentic love for the Lord and his desire for Christ to be glorified. I know he dealt with stuff that broke his heart, and he had to make choices at times that went entirely against his nature, yet he knew he must follow through if God’s Word was to be honored.
If I could talk to my Dad right now, there are three things I would ask about… I want to ask him about his steadfast faith. I know he would say that wasn’t him but the Spirit at work in him. He was fully aware of all that God had done for him, so being faithful was the only response that made any sense to God’s perfect love. I know it came more naturally for him the older he was, but that was just because he had trusted God with so many things in his life; my Dad simply believed GOD would do what He promised and allowed it to consume the way he thought.
The second thing I would ask him about concerns praying. Growing up, I always thought prayer was an odd response to our circumstances; why were we wasting time in this quiet murmuring when there were things to do! My Dad was always the one praying in services or leading in prayer when something happened… I guess it was from him I learned that prayer wins the day.
The last thing I want to ask is why he never gave up and walked away from trouble and hard times? He always had this determined resolve about him that everything of value was worth fighting for… and my Dad valued people and relationships. He was loyal to a fault and always gave the benefit of the doubt to others. He understood his own sinfulness, which helped him see more clearly the struggles others were facing. His authentic love for Jesus made him gentle and kind and able to walk alongside those who were hurting; he always made sure he was on the right side of defending the vulnerable and wounded.
It seems my Dad is still speaking since I know what he would say. I will always be grateful for the time and love he invested in me… even though I did give him fits, I guess I knew he wouldn’t give up on me even when I failed him. That’s probably one of the greatest lessons he taught me, Jesus never gives up on those He loves. This made it easy for me to understand who our Heavenly Father is and His perfect love for me. There is no more extraordinary gift you can give than to lay down your life for another.. that’s how my Dad lived, all to the glory of his Savior. I hope you know Jesus as my Dad did; I hope you spend time in His word and allow it to consume your heart. My Dad would tell you there is hope, and His name is Jesus.
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Think About This: “Since God writes your story, he knows what you’re facing and exactly what grace you’ll need to live his way.”―