Thursday, 30 December 2010

Father lost and found

John Reynolds: 30/12/34-23/9/85



September 23, 1985
Another day at school finished, and we were just having the register at the end of the day before going home. The Head of Year came into the room and asked me if I’d accompany her to her office. Uh-oh, had I been in trouble? But then she said we needed to walk to my mum’s workplace, which was quite close to the school. This was odd. For some reason I didn’t ask why, we walked silently. The police cars outside my mum’s office didn’t help the feeling of foreboding that was growing inside. Walking into my mum’s office, seeing the police men there, seeing the look on my mum’s face – I braced myself. As she told me that my dad had been killed in a car crash on his way to work, the floor beneath me seemed to fall away, or rather the rock on which I had based my life did, and my mum and I just clung tightly together.

December 30, 2010
I may have lost my earthly father, but in the last 2 months I have found my Heavenly Father. Which is probably an odd thing to say, for someone who has been a Christian for 18 years. I have started rereading The Forgotten Father by Thomas A. Smail the last couple of weeks, and he expresses so well my experience. He lost his own father as a young boy, and he says “Experientially it is possible to confess Christ and not live in the power of the Spirit or have confidence before the Father. All Christians believe in the fatherhood of God, but not all have entered into the confident trust and willing obedience that belief implies. And they can do so, not by being taught or exhorted but only as a result of a distinctive activity of the Holy Spirit within them. God must send the Spirit of his Son into our hearts crying Abba Father...In Christ God has made himself our Father and us his children. For that to come home to us in the power of the Spirit is one of the most healing things that can ever happen to us.” Mmm. This happened to me 2 months ago. I have always known my Heavenly Father since He opened my eyes to the gospel when I became a Christian, but I never had confidence before Him, I was always hiding behind the righteousness of Christ, so that He wouldn’t see my dirtiness. Now I have come to the realisation that the blood of Christ has actually washed me clean, and I have discovered a new-found delight and confidence in approaching my Loving Heavenly Father, and an ability to receive His love for me.

I am stunned at the way God is speaking to me at the moment. For example, last night I was led to do an impromptu bible study on the word compassion after the lovely Christina Langella posted on Facebook a comment about God’s compassion. Not only did I discover to my shame that I don’t know very well those verses that speak of His compassion, I discovered He is called the Father of compassion (2 Cor 1:3) and amazingly that the Bible proclaims “in you the fatherless find compassion” (Hosea 14:3).

I miss my dad. I miss most of all not being able to discuss my faith with him. His dad was a priest in the Anglican church, and my dad also wanted to become a priest – but returned from a liberal theological college disillusioned with the teachings there that denied the virgin birth. He loved all the bells, incense and singing in the High Anglican church, and had been a choir boy at Ely Cathedral. My dad was a brilliant pianist and I used to love to listen to him play The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. He struggled with life – we believe he had Aspergers Syndrome, and had mild obsessional behaviour, and we used to get so frustrated as a family waiting for him to join us in the car to go out as he did all his last-minute checks in the house, but he was a great dad.

Today would have been his 76th birthday. I have tears today – but they are tears of joy at finding my compassionate Heavenly Father.

 

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him—his name is the LORD.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
(Psalm 68:4-6)

17 comments:

  1. :-)


    (A letter is on its way.)

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  2. All I can say is, "Bless God" for His faithfulness in your life! We live in such a fallen world marred by sin, sickness, separation and yet, through it all, God has been faithful to you!

    It is so beautiful to hear how God has kept you, but also how He continues to draw you in such a tender and personal way. It never ceases to amaze me that the Holy God of the Universe condescends to meet us right where we are.

    I'm on my way to work and these thoughts and reflections on the lovingkindness of our Father are a perfect send off!

    Love and blessings to you my dear friend & sister!

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  3. Diana I don't know where to begin. This was so moving and I guess the most amazing thing is that God has indeed been so faithful! I have found that God's lovingkindness as Christina put it, is much deeper than we can imagine or expect. I really lost my Dad at 24. He had a major stroke when I was in High School, but I came home one day when I was 24 and he no longer knew who I was. He passed away in 2003 and I miss him every day. I took care of him (he had dementia) until he died and I really cherish all those times, even though He was a different person than the Dad I grew up with. I was saved not long after Dad died, and I have found that God turned out to be the best "parent" I could have ever had. He loved me, taught me and comforted me throughtout situations I thought I could never handle. I am so blessed to read this today, and I will have to get a copy of the book you mentioned. Blessings to you today, I am so amazed to read about the stories of God's love and help in the lives of His children. We are so blessed beyond measure! Love to you today!

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  4. Dear Friend,

    It amazes me, no matter how long we have walked in the gospel, how God shows us, reveals us, more of Him to us through His Word. We will never stop learning from Him; we will never stop knowing Him until we see Him one day, in our heavenly home, where our broken hearts will be put together.

    As I read your words, I think... "Yes; we are living in the Sacred", isn't it?

    Much love!

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  5. Oh, Diana, I have few words. This, what you have written, is the gold God has forged from the fires, and it is shining bright.

    He has established you and has caused you to overcome by the word of your testimony and the blood of the Lamb.

    How your dad would be so proud.

    Love xoxo,
    -E

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  6. I am overcome by all your beautiful, God-glorifying comments!

    Tess - amazing how much :-) can convey - yes, indeed, and Amen!

    Christina - lovingkindness, what a beautiful word. I shall be pondering on that one too now!

    Teresa - I am moved by your testimony.The way you took care of your Dad is so God-honouring, and I just praise God that through your loss you too found your Heavenly Father. I pray He continues to show you the depths of His lovingkindness. I can't recommend The Forgotten Father highly enough :)

    Becky - yes, living in the sacred, yes, daily on our way to heaven where our broken hearts will be put together. What hope!

    Elizabeth - your last comment did me in completely. Thank you for all you have poured into me from Him.

    Love and blessings to you all x

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  7. Diana,

    This post has really moved me to tears! I am so sorry that you lost your beloved earthly father at such a tender age. I rejoice with you in your new found joy in our Heavenly Father. I too have meditated more this year on my relationship with God as my Father. What a beautiful example we have been given by Christ in how we should begin our prayers when He said to pray this way, "Our Father". And to think that when we are delighting in Him He will give us the desires our hearts because He is a loving and compassionate Father!

    Have a blessed New Year my good friend!
    With much love!

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  8. Diane - friend and sister - yes, to be able to pray "Our Father" to the Awesome Creator of the world, sitting enthroned in the heavens is...unbelievable. Only possible in Christ, through the Spirit. May we never cease to have our breath taken away by this!

    Blessings to you for 2011!

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  9. I feel so blessed to read this! I've lost my own dad in '93 and my mom in '04. Both times God's faithfulness, as well as His lessons for the heart, were paramount. He was my only comfort, although I was still much blinded even then!

    You know, every time I pray, "Our Father...," I try to grasp 'it' - the wonder and awe of it! I can't rightly explain it, perhaps I've not quite grasped the whole of it all. I hope I have, but if not, God is faithful to open to me wide that door as well! Thank you for this post and these comforting thoughts that flood my mind! Love and blessings to you!

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  10. Petra - so sorry to hear of your loss - thank you for your testimony to the faithfulness of God. I'm absolutely convinced that these testimonies are a part of accomplishing God's good purposes for His Name's sake, to defeat the challenge laid down in Job 1:11, which is possible because we know that Our Redeemer Lives and one day our eyes will see Him! May God richly bless you in 2011.

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  11. Oh, Diane, I'm a stern believer that ultimately ALL things accomplish God's purpose! Believing this strengthens my faith and brings me peace and joy. May it bring you the same and more! Thank you for your love!

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  12. Oh Diana what a wonderful testimony to the faithfulness, love and compassion of God ever wooing us to come closer to His side. How Great is our God...a wonderful Father to us and a shield for our lives. Your father sounded like a wonderful man. I, too, lost my father much earlier than anticipated. He never got to meet three of our children. He, too, was a good man who loved the Lord. We were both blessed in many ways my dear friend!

    Your testimony is a blessing to me today Diana. May God continue to reveal Himself to you day by day in new ways. The adventure of living for Him in daily dependance begins afresh for you! God's blessings dear sister!

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    1. Barbara - thank you so much for your words. I am sorry you lost your father early on too...but so thankful he loved the Lord! I love how you phrased this: the "love and compassion of God ever wooing us to come closer to His side". Yes! What a Great God He is....and may His blessings be with you today ♥

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  13. Reading again as if for the first time, I am struck by the fact that Psalm 68 was the text you ended on. I have been meditating on this psalm the past few days, and after I read it through to Nino one morning, I asked him to give me a one-word descriptor. He said, "Triumph."

    God has caused you to triumph.

    So moving, so beautiful and transparent.
    Love,
    -L

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    1. Wow....Nino gets it!
      Liz...God bless you, my friend. This post is very special to me, in more ways than one, and I am so grateful for your kind words. ♥

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  14. Diana this is as beautiful, maybe more so than when you first wrote it. I know how much you must still miss your Father, I know how my heart still aches for mine but I am so thankful for the love our Heavenly Father has for us. I cannot really wrap my pea sized brain around it. I love you loads my friend. So thankful for you.

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    1. Sweet T....yes, it's those moments of unexpected grief that still take me by surprise all these years later, which I'm sure you also experience. I'm sure you must also relate to this....Romans 8:15: "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.” Those words are so sweet, so wonderful, so true, so grace-filled! Love you LOADS, God bless you today, my friend ♥

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