When I am not up to writing - when the words don't flow - I search through my three years worth of posts to see if something calls out to me. This would have best been posted on Father's Day, but today is the day it "picked me." I pray it blesses you.
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms . . . Deuteronomy 33:27
Three years ago, at the age of 92, my dad died. Today would have been his 95th birthday.
You might wonder why I’m writing about him here. You see, it wasn’t until my illnesses became severe that I understood what my dad dealt with for more years than I can remember. The reason I didn’t know before? He never complained.
He dealt with hearing loss, severe arthritis, spondylosis that almost completely pinched his spinal cord, a botched back surgery that left him disabled, and much more. He was in daily, debilitating pain, yet never said a word. He did what he could for as long as he could. He was my example for “keep on keeping on.”
Even when he was ushering in church from his scooter, he was smiling and making people laugh.
His motto? “There’s a reason the good Lord is keeping me here.”
I’m realizing more and more how many lessons he was teaching me during the last years of his life. I doubt if he would acknowledge any of these if he were still alive. He lived a very humble life – never taking credit for anything he did.
Yet – he taught me:
It’s all in God’s timing.
It is possible to smile when you are in pain.
You don’t have to moan and groan and complain.
Look for creative ways to continue to serve God. He’ll show you.
Live every day of your life with love.
Live to set an example.
Tell those you love that you love them while you have the chance.
Trust God to do what’s right.
Illness is not the end of everything. Sometimes it’s a beginning.
Your life is an example to others.
You never know who is watching and learning.
Always do what’s right – even when no one is watching.
Today, as I struggle with new challenges, I sit in my dad’s recliner. Yesterday my doctor told me sleeping in a recliner will be easier on my body. The reason my dad had a recliner? There were many days he couldn’t sleep in bed. Ironic.
I feel as if my dad’s arms are enfolding me. There is such a comfort here.
It reminds me that God’s arms are always around me, too. God has many lessons to teach me. I am realizing that I am here as an example for those around me – just the same way my father was. It is my fondest hope and prayer that I can leave a legacy just as my father did before me.
I know I am still learning many of these lessons. For me it’s a steep learning curve. I’ve a long way to go. But thanks to my dad, I know they are lessons that can be learned.
So – Dad – thanks for all you left for your family. You did more than you know, just by being you.
And God – thanks for allowing me to be his daughter …
Amen and amen.
Comments are both welcomed and encouraged! I try to respond to each comment. (There is a place to mark in the comment section if you wish to be notified of replies.)
For my email friends - have you visited the Encouraging Words website? You can find devotionals listed by topics, visit the archives, and leave your thoughts on this post (or anything else you'd care to share!) Just click on the link. :)