I would like to share this scripture with you because it sums up the essence of my Father: “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; for by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 24:3-6
When I think of Dad, I think of wisdom, honesty, understanding and integrity....His guidance and his values ultimately increased my strength, increased my faith and, by his wise counsel, helped me wage my own battles in life....
I had an extra special relationship with Dad. He was my earthly counselor...my Rock... and I could always trust his advice in all matters. I could tell Dad my worst problems, without fear of condemnation. He had the unique ability to see straight through the distractions to the very root of the problem. The advice he gave me was always wise, honest and straight forth. He was not critical. I valued what Dad had to say because he combined wisdom with love and he ALWAYS had my best interest at heart. My Dad's counsel was more precious to me than silver and gold. Some people ask for advice, then, maybe not trusting the advice, will ask someone else for advice, and another, and another.... I only had to ask my Dad... I could trust that he would never guide me wrong. Proverbs 20:7 says it best: "The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him." I AM BLESSED!
When I was struggling with my salvation, I really could not understand why God would forgive me for all that I had done, or why Jesus would die for my sin. One day, I read this scripture: “…what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:9-11
Suddenly, I understood how God can forgive me for things I had done because that is exactly what Dad had done - over and over and over. I also could understand why Jesus would die for my sin. Dad would have given his life to save any of his children. In the course of fellowship with other people in my church, I came to understand that salvation was more difficult for some people who did not have the earthly example that I had. Some people cannot trust their fathers, or their fathers had done harm to them, so coming to understand salvation and the love of our Father in Heaven is a concept they cannot grasp. My compassion is deep for persons who have not known the unconditional love of a good Father...A love that I know quite well...The protection of a Father who loves his children and wants only the best for them... A love and a counsel that I miss very much. I AM VERY, VERY BLESSED TO HAVE HAD SUCH A FATHER!
The Word of God tells me that my Dad's spirit came from God and has now returned to God. Also, Psalm 116:15 says "Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of His saints." I HAVE THE ASSURANCE THAT DAD IS WITH GOD AND THAT IS MY COMFORT.
Finally, I would like to read a poem that I wrote for Dad's birthday in 1989. It pretty much describes the man that Dad was:
It was 1947
That you first became a Dad;
As you tenderly held your new daughter,
What fears you must have had!
Within three years,
Our family grew.
Two more daughters!
How would you ever get through?
But...as time will,
The years flew by.
You heard us laugh,
You saw us cry.
You watched us play
And run and grow.
Your love and guidance valued
More than you'll ever know.
You are my Rock
Through good and bad.
You've earned your name -
You are my DAD!
I have now added another verse:
With wisdom you have guided me
To who I am this day.
My heart is full of riches as
I honor you today.
Thank you for the memories. I love you, Daddy. I'll see you soon.....
(Written for and delivered during Memorial Service for Dad – February 2004)