Thoughts from Joy

DadandI

Hours after my last post over a week ago, the LORD saw fit to take my daddy home. As I held my father close, I cried out with all that was within me for mercy, reminding the LORD of all He had promised. I prayed aloud scripture after scripture, boldly holding the LORD to the simple truths He spoke to me, reminding myself to trust Him, and endeavoring to console my mother and siblings that looked on as we all cried for deliverance from the tragic nightmare we all waited to wake from. I am forever changed after watching the man I love most in this world pass into eternity. The picture of his lifeless body; the temple that the Spirit no longer resided in will never be lifted from my mind, but as I shudder every time I close my eyes and see that image, hoping I will forget it, I find myself afraid I will. Afraid I will forget the gentle voice that spoke to me, “Fear not, for I am with thee. Be not dismayed; for I am thy God,” (Is.41:10) as I held my daddy close and waited for him to just sit up. I long to remember the nearness of the LORD and His presence in those painful hours. I was in utter disbelief that daddy’s soul had departed because of all that I so confidently believed from God’s word, but because it was words, I had something to cling to in those hours as I waited for the LORD to wake him. What I believed from the word of God and saw with my eyes seemed to contradict each other, but He somehow allowed me to rest in the words of truth, knowing they were yet true. Even in a state of shock, disbelief, and horror as daddy grew cold, the LORD was a present help in trouble. He never left me and continued to bring to my remembrance things that He had spoken to me. Assuring me even then, that “God is not a man that He should lie, (Num.23:19) and “He is faithful that promised.” (Heb10:23) Reminding the LORD that His name was at stake and that many would say He was not faithful by allowing daddy to depart this life, He continued to say, “Be still, and know that I am God. I WILL be exalted among the nations, I WILL be exalted in the earth.” (Ps.46:10) “…If thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God.” (Joh11:40) I never saw the glory of the LORD in the way that I expected to that night, but because it was in His word that I so confidently hoped, He has graciously granted understanding and given me joy and rest through the same word that I previously misunderstood.

Not able to sleep, I pleaded with the Lord all night for grace to make sense of all that He allowed over the last month. I cried for wisdom to know how to hear His voice from His word again and be willing to trust it when I had so miserably misunderstood concerning how He would deliver daddy, the greatest test yet of my faith. How could I get it so wrong? I walked by faith, by the word of God, the words He so clearly had given me to cling to, and NOT by sight, even when daddy’s condition grew steadily worse over a period of weeks. Even when he took his last breath, I still believed. How could I have been so far from the mark the LORD intended? After a period of wrestling with the LORD, He graciously granted through the same truth I was so convinced of before and others, this glimpse of understanding that has restored the joy of His salvation to my heart.

We asked for long life and He granted life eternal. We asked for healing and He granted it complete. We asked for restoration of his voice that he might give praise to God and daddy now sings aloud the praises of the Lamb to His glorious face. Daddy has been delivered. Delivered not in the earthly joy we could perceive but in joy much greater, more abundant, much more full, and long lasting. My heart aches from the bitter disappointment of his departure when I trusted the Lord so expectantly for his healing, but the Lord knowing my heart, granted my request, in a way that brings Him glory beyond what I am able to understand. He granted exceedingly, abundantly above all we asked or thought (Ep.3:20) Yes, “He is faithful that promised.” We now are commanded to continue to “trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding” (Pro.3:5) with a childlike faith. The LORD has not changed. He cannot lie. His word is truth. He can be trusted.
“He is good, and doeth good.”
“He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Ps23:2)