As Father’s day approaches I find myself reminiscing about my father and the man he was. He was not just funny but hilarious with a dry sense of humor, a passion for creationism (we went on many fossil hunts), a love for inventing contraptions, and a heart for Jesus. He taught me what a strong work ethic was by saying, “don’t wait to be told what to do but find something” or quoting his father’s advice, “I never really suffer except by my own fault.” To me, my father was a small town man, small town church deacon, and small business owner who loved his family. It wasn’t until his passing at age 47 from cancer that I understood he was not “just” those things. He was a man that walked in integrity and because of that, he had a tremendous impact on those he contacted. It was through losing my dad God taught me many great things through the heartache.
One being the truth of Matthew 5:13 where Jesus tells us to be salt, so that we may bring flavor to this dark world. It was so obvious to me when over 500 people showed up to dad’s funeral, a good part were not church goers but they showed up because they saw something different in my father, a genuine caring for them (salt). They showed up and they heard the gospel there they had the opportunity to understand why dad was the way he was. When dad’s constructions friends continued to trust me to do their projects purely because I was my father’s son. Proverbs 20:7 came to life for me, “The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.” It was then that I realized how critical it is for us fathers to be men of integrity.
The last lesson I’ll share is exactly what Pastor Frank shared with us a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes when the plan goes awry that is the plan. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. When tragedy strikes, we can sometimes focus on the loss and miss out on the new thing God is doing. Losing dad was hard, but our family has been blessed in many different ways. I now have a wonderful step dad who also loves Jesus, and with him came three hilarious stepbrothers.
This Father’s day I challenge us fathers to show our children how to live a Godly life, to be the salt to those around us and live with a twinkle in our eye up until our final days because we know we have a better home to go to. By doing this we will never know how big of an impact we can make on this lost world, but God does. Whether you had an amazing father or not, does not limit your ability to become one or to experience the joy of having one. We are ALL given an opportunity to have a relationship with the perfect father, our Heavenly Father and as His children we experience what a perfect Father’s unconditional love is. Romans 8:15 makes clear that through our Faith in Jesus we are adopted as children to God and cry out, “Abba, Father.” Happy Father’s Day!