Back in 1996 when my father was dying of pancreatic cancer, I went up to visit him one afternoon. I sat down next to him on the bed and asked him to speak into my life. I remember being very comfortable by his side. Then he began to say: “I was always afraid you’d flower early.” Suddenly the thoughts started racing through my mind of all my failed attempts to do great things. I thought, “So you’re the one who’s been holding me back!”
He continued, “I was always afraid you’d flower early and I never wanted you to. I wanted you to grow up strong and tall like the cedars of Lebanon bearing fruit into your old age.” He said “Its time for you and Nancy to branch out and do new things, start a church. You’re ready.” I didn’t really agree with my father when he said we were ready. I knew I needed more preparation. I knew the call to stand strong and tall like the cedars of Lebanon takes a lot of undergirding; root systems that will help you weather storms.
Here we are ten years later. Tomorrow, Father’s Day, is the first day of the first new church we’re starting. We’ve been through a lot in the last ten years. I believe we’ve matured a lot. I believe, by God’s grace, we’re ready.
I think my father would be proud of us because we are loving and helping people. We’re not trying to build anything for ourselves. We know our Heavenly Father God has all of our needs under control. We’re trying to let our Heavenly Father build through us.
I do want to fulfill what my father spoke over me. I do want to stand strong and tall, like the cedars of Lebanon, bearing fruit into my old age. That’s what I want.
The fruit I want is children. We just had #7, JuliAnna, so our natural quiver is full. It’s time to bear spiritual children. We want to impart life, love and blessing into people. We want to help people find their way. We want to help people find out who they are. And succeed greatly at being who God’s made them to be. I believe this is what a father does. He helps the child unwrap the package of who they are. He speaks into their lives. He gives them restraint(which is really focus) and motivation(which is courage).
So many father’s don’t represent our Heavenly Father accurately. That is a goal of mine. I want people to really know who He is. I want to strive toward what Jesus said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”
Happy Father’s Day