My grandchildren went shopping to buy a gift for their dad for Father’s Day and came back with their arms full of packages and an over-sized card! It brought back a memory from a few years back, it was the first year after my mother’s dad died she said, “I keep thinking about what I want to buy daddy for Father’s Day and then I remember he is gone, I am so sad.”At the time I felt sorry for her but with my own father so alive and strong I couldn’t empathize, now I can.
When I was a little girl I thought my dad was the strongest man in the whole world! I saw him carry a big refrigerator up a steep hill on his back to the wonder of all the mill village wives and their children who lined the street to watch.
Aside from being strong he was the ultimate sweetheart to my mother, continuing to bring coffee to her bed every morning until he could no longer even get it for himself. When I was going through their things trying to organize things I have found so many love notes they gave to each other, his always signed, “My Olene, I love you a bunch, Harry”.
Last but by no means least, I miss being able to walk into their room and ask him to pray for me. I’m thinking of two different times that he prayed, although there were many, that I got instant answers. One was on Thanksgiving Day a few years ago when I had burned my hand so severely that it ruined the whole dinner for me. Finally at the end of the meal when almost everyone had left the table I sat down next to him and he said, “Dear what’s the matter?”I showed him my hand and told him how miserable it felt, at that he put his big hand over mine completely covering it, the heat from his hand over mine made the burn feel as if I couldn’t bear the pain but I didn’t want to say anything but the tears rolled down my face. As he was finishing his prayer for me he asked God to take the heat from my hand and let it go into his and said amen, it was still burning fiercely but when he lifted his hand from mine the prayer was answered, it was completely at peace, no more burn, it wasn’t even red. I said to him, “Why did you wait until now to pray for me when I have been in pain all day?”His answer came quick and was simple, “Because you didn’t ask me.” The second time was only days before he died, I had oral surgery because of an abscess, I was in a lot of pain and my jaw was so swollen that I looked like Marlon Brando as the Godfather! I went into his room and stood in front of his chair and burst into a flood of tears. He pulled me down to him like a little child and laid his hand on my cheek and prayed, again asking for God to take the pain from my jaw as he removed his hand, and again when he took his hand away the pain was totally gone and did not return! I still closely resembled Marlon Brando but I was no longer in pain!
I feel that the relationship I had with him is what has made it so easy for me to fall into the arms of my heavenly Father when I need help, I know that if my earthly dad cared so much God must love me even more.
Romans 8:31-39 is my favorite love note from my heavenly dad, I’ll share it with you:
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.
Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
Father’s Day 2019