Most of the world had no idea the level of pain my Dad faced on a daily basis. I doubt even I grasped what he went through. Over 15 years ago, Dad started a slow descent into debilitating back health. The past few years he spent hardly any time out of the house because the pain was so intense.
Two Sundays ago, Jesus called my Dad home.
It was quite a shock. We weren’t expecting it at all. The first week or so was spent traveling and attending the viewing and funeral. Since things have slowed down, I have been able to start grieving.
As I mourned, I grieved all the things we would no longer be able to do. My parents were planning a trip to visit in Alaska. We were going to fish, trek out on the tundra, and go rock hunting, one of my Dad’s quirky pastimes. He loved to collect rocks from new places and vacations, marking God’s awesome variety of creation across the earth.
I also mourned the life activities that were taken away from him as his physical abilities declined. When I sat sit long enough to absorb the weight of his pain, I was am overwhelmed. Tears fall, wetting the ground, tissues, and sprinkling family pictures.
As I prepared the blog entry for this week I knew it would revolve around Dad. How could it not? I just lost the most significant man in my life, other than my husband. I read through the Psalms scheduled for this week and I came across Psalm 56.
David wrote this particular Psalm as he was fleeing for his life. He was running from Saul and ran right into the city of Gath. This is significant because he was carrying Goliath’s sword, the giant he had killed years before. And oh yeah, this just happens to be Goliath’s hometown. I’m not sure that went down well…David arriving, carrying Goliath’s sword and all.
Now, I know that I’m not running for my life, facing foes on all sides. Yet God’s Word is that good.
It is alive, speaking into our lives exactly what we need to see, when we need to see it.
Here is what David penned:
“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.” ~Psalm 56:8 NLT
That is such a good reminder as my tears moisten the Texas ground. They aren’t forgotten. But that’s not all…there’s more.
“For you have rescued me from death;
you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God,
in your life-giving light.” ~Psalm 56:13
God literally rescued David from death that day.
Seventeen days ago, God rescued my Dad from his decaying body. He granted my Dad such mercy, freedom from pain. God kept Dad’s feet from slipping and granted him eternal life through Jesus Christ. Dad is literally walking in God’s presence, in His life-giving light.
This is the hope I live for and the rock to which I am clinging to today. Do you have this gift? Do you know where you will spend eternity? If you are unsure, confess your sins, acknowledge that Jesus is the only way to heaven, ask the Holy Spirit to enter your heart, and rejoice in your eternal reward!