(For those of you who are looking for my witty farm posts about naked chickens and other happenings, I promise they'll be back. I just wanted to share this matter on my heart.)
Today is my dad's birthday. He would have been 73.
Two nights ago I dreamt that he was still here, laughing with me, sitting at his end of the table. Then I woke up and the pain of his absence hit me and I cried. And cried.
Sometimes the pain is so great that I can barely breathe.
How is that I can go on without him? Without the earthly father that I loved. Without the earthly father who loved me.
The only reason, the ONLY reason I can smile and laugh and live is that I know without a shadow of a doubt where my father lives. He lives in heaven. He LIVES! My father accepted Jesus's sacrifice of death on the cross as payment for his sins. My dad wasn't perfect, no one is. All, ALL have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Jesus, the one blameless and perfect, gave up His life on the cross so that we could be with Him...FOREVER.
My dad confessed his biggest fear was that God would forget him. The God would not remember that he was there. That God would not know him. When I prayed over my dad, I asked that God would calm him. Remind him that he was not forgotten. Remind him that just as my dad would never forget me, God would never forget one of His children. Instantly, my dad's breathing calmed and he rested more comfortably.
Do you have that calm? Do you know, without a doubt, what will happen when you die?
There is a place for you, for each of us in heaven. You cannot earn your way there, you can not give enough to get there, you can not do enough to get there. You can only surrender your life to God, acknowledge your sins, ask Him to forgive you, to live within you, to take over your life. There is no other way. HE is THE WAY, the truth and the light.
I have the assurance that I will see my beloved daddy again. I have the assurance that his death was not the end, but only the beginning of eternity with God. There is no better place, there is no better ending.
Today is my dad's birthday. And though we will never celebrate together again here on earth, when we are reunited in heaven there will much rejoicing.
I'd like you to be there with us.