Dad looked forward to finishing his work more than anything else and as
his life here was coming to an end,
He was busy doing just that.
It was a sunny and beautiful day,
Dad loved this kind of weather and so did I.
Though the steps to the street corner were each a challenge, he was anxious to get outside and feel the sun shine on the back of his neck.
As we walked, we talked.
It was what we both loved to do.
Most of the time we talked about what God was speaking to us and that day was no different.
Dad was feeling very weak and as I held his hand and he steadied himself on his cane we talked of how his earthly body seemed to be wasting away but he was inwardly being renewed day by day! <2 Cor 4.16>
It’s funny when eternity is staring you in the face, nothing else seems to matter….
The truth is…
<<<Our lives are fully lived, when they’re lived in what’s meaningful>>>.
In Dad’s final weeks,
he felt so close to God…he said, ‘closer and closer every day’.
He even used the description of being,
‘intimate with God’.
During this time, God was shifting Dad’s eyes from
…what was earthly
what was eternal.
I saw God drawing Him nearer.
Through tears Dad would split his heart wide open.
It was almost as if he thought others needed a look inside to see God.
And as he grew closer to Jesus,
he brought you closer to Jesus too!
I think that’s what I’ll miss most about Dad, is his closeness to God and his steady endurance to finish His work.
It reminded me of Christ needing to finish the work of His Father.
On our walk that day,
there was something else Dad said ever so quietly, in a weakened voice.
He told me he was sorry that he was failing physically and that he was so much work for me. I reminded him of years ago when he wrote a letter to his Mother in Illinois who was diagnosed with cancer asking her to come and live with us.
Dad wanted to walk her to Jesus…
I asked Dad if he would have done it differently now knowing how hard it was to care for his Mother-
would he do it again?
He said, he’d absolutely do it again!
I squeezed Dad’s hand and said…
‘then let me do it now for you’.
From then on we did just that.
We walked through Dad’s journey to Jesus together and it was such an honor to be able to!
This is what Jesus must have felt
~the closer He walked towards the Cross,
the closer He got to His Father.
I now get it!
I understand why it was so important for Dad to finish His work…
a Father’s work is never done until His children know they’re loved and matter.
when God sent Jesus here to finish His work it was for us to know
we are loved & we matter!
During his last month Dad was finally able to sum up how he was feeling about dying.
He found his words through the keen
words of Billy Graham who was also nearing death.
When Billy Graham was
asked if he was afraid of death he said,
‘No, I am not afraid of death I’m afraid of the process of death.‘
When Dad was handed these words he felt relief to finally be able to communicate how he was feeling.
I think for many of us this is true.
For we know where we are going,
we are just anxious about getting from
here to there.
This too was Jesus,
as he went to his secret place to pray.
Jesus didn’t struggle with why He was dying or even if He
Jesus’ heartache laid in the process of death…
He was in the flesh, like us.
His burden was could He humanly make it through.
In this small space of time, He deeply felt His flesh;
and wondered if
He could do what He was about to do.
His reliance upon His Father was greater
during this process of His death, more than ever.
There is nothing confusing about this…
Jesus didn’t fear the Cross as the Son of God,
His concern was as the Son of Man.
It’s where God in Man collided in the depth of His soul!
It was here at Gethsemane Jesus fought His
last battle of His flesh with Satan, for us.
In this fight Jesus depicts for us that Satan can
be overcome, not only as the Son of God but like us as a Man.
Through Jesus, God fully took on our sin!
This was Jesus’ struggle…
He felt the full weight of going through the process of death into life.
He did this
SO THAT….we might have this same hope and SO THAT….
we might live!
And now it’s our turn…our story,
to finish our Father’s work.
When someone you love dies you want their life and their death to change you…
I want Jesus’ life and death to change me, like it changed my Dad.
It took a broken Man and made him whole AND only Jesus can do something like this!
We all have been given a life…
sometimes they may seem a little too broken and busted up to use,
but God has a way of taking even our shattered messes
and making them beautiful again.
May we take this new life we’ve been given and finish Our Father’s work…for it’s here that we let His death & life truly change us!