This Sunday is Father's Day. I'm a dad of 5 kids, so I love Father's Day. I even said to my kids last night, "Hey ya'll, Sunday is Father's Day, so let me remind you what my love language is…GIFTS!" Who knows what I will get this year, but you can be sure that there will be some homemade cards filled with exciting and colorful "I love you's" all over the place!
My dad just celebrated his 9th year in heaven. He died of Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) in 2010 and not a Father's Day goes by where I don't wish that my dad was still around, but I wouldn't take back his nine years in heaven for anything. I seriously doubt he would want to give them back either! My dad was a great man. Provided well for his family, loved his wife, and most importantly loved Jesus. My favorite picture of him is one my mom must have taken when he was studying for a Sunday School lesson he was teaching. It's a picture of him dressed in his Sunday clothes before the sun had come up, going over his lesson by lamp light at his desk. I'm so grateful for the godly legacy he left me.
When I think about the kind of man my dad was, the song "I Then Shall Live" comes to mind. This song, lyrics by Gloria Gaither, and music to the tune of a section of "Finlandia" by Jean Sibelius, moves me in a way that is difficult to describe. I want to be the man that is being sung about. Look at the lyrics:
I then shall live as one who's been forgiven.
I'll walk with joy to know my debts are paid.
I know my name is clear before my Father;
I am His child and I am not afraid.
So, greatly pardoned, I'll forgive my brother;
The law of love I gladly will obey.
I then shall live as one who's learned compassion.
I've been so loved, that I'll risk loving too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges;
I'll dare to see another's point of view.
And when relationships demand commitment,
Then I'll be there to care and follow through.
Your Kingdom come around and through and in me;
Your power and glory, let them shine through me.
Your Hallowed Name, O may I bear with honor,
And may Your living Kingdom come in me.
The Bread of Life, O may I share with honor,
And may You feed a hungry world through me.
This is the kind of person that can change the world. This is the kind of dad that I want to be. I want to be so aware of my salvation that it drives me to love others like I've been loved. I confess that this is hard for me. I don't naturally lean the way of compassion, but knowing my name is clear before my Father, I want to obey His gospel and feed a hungry world with this good news. It's so easy for us to dismiss the needs of the world around us or across the oceans, and just live our quiet little Christian lives, but that is not our calling. We haven't been blessed with the bearing the name of Jesus, only to keep it to ourselves. It must be shared, it must be given away. Let's live this day as children of the Father.
Check out "I Then Shall Live" here.