Growing up, my daddy was the first thing I usually saw every morning. I loved getting up before the rest of the family trickled in and read my bible next to him at our dinning room table while we drank coffee together. Daddy was always an early riser and his favorite time of day was about 4am, when our home and most of the world lay still and asleep or it least were quiet. His “quiet time” was not a little, religious ritual he did every day, but a time of communion with God, where he, in a solitary place, quieted his heart before the LORD to hear His voice through His written word. He believed “every word of God is pure” (Pro. 30:5) and he read through the bible every six months. He daily acted on Dt.17:19 that commands, “…he shall read therein all the days of his life that he may learn to fear the LORD his God.” Every day of my life, I watched my father sit with Bible open, his humble figure leaned over it as if holding a priceless treasure as he sought earnestly to know the LORD and learn how to apply His word to his life, while we joined him because he taught us to do the same. I was in my teens before I ever beat him to our dinning room table where he and other members of our family would gather to read the scriptures quietly and individually. What a precious gift it was to wake every morning with this example of an obedient man, fearing the LORD and seeking to honor Him in the quietness of his heart and confidence of his home on a daily basis. To describe my daddy in a word, it would be, zealous. He was “fervent in spirit” and ran to obtain the prize. His relationship with the LORD was the most important thing in his life, without seeking His face and His strength continually, he knew he could not love his wife, teach his children, or be fruitful in the kingdom of God by speaking His word to others. He was tenacious and fought to make time to read the scriptures and seek to know Christ when the hectic business of life threatened to prevent it. Often he went with little sleep in order to make time for his Savior and be strengthened by Him, because he believed “man does not live by bread only but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Dt. 8:3) He made time to seek the LORD alone every morning, and read to his wife and children every night.
My most precious memories with him are probably those mornings when I was awake for a couple hours with him before the rest of the house woke up, where we sat at the table together and quietly read the scriptures, where I asked him questions about what I was reading and he patiently answered them, and shared his heart with me. It was a way of life for our family, to watch him set the example of seeking the Lord and to have him diligently teach us, what a priceless treasure it was. Now, his chair at the head of our table sits empty in the early hours of the morning, but his wife and children are still scattered around the living room and dinning table with bibles open every day. I miss my daddy more then I can say. And even though my heart aches with a pain too deep to describe every morning I wake up and he’s not the one that greets me with a “Morning sunshine!” and a hug, I rejoice when I think how he no longer has to sit and read of his Savior that paid the penalty for his sin, but now sits at His feet, face to face! Hearing His voice instead of reading it.
“He that dwells in the secret place of the most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Ps 91:1