A VERY SPECIAL PRIVELEGE
Few people are privileged to have a father who
consistently modeled godliness, integrity, faithfulness, and commitment
to the Lord. I am one of the fortunate few. And after 91 years here
on this earth, my dad was ushered into his new home in heaven. There
he now is rejoicing with his Lord, my mother, and a host of family and
friends who have proceeded him there.
It would take volumes to express the lessons that I have learned from
dad. The early years of our lives were spent in the post World War II
era when jobs and money were scare. We moved almost every year of my
life until I was in third grade and dad finally found a permanent job
with RCA. Dad couldn't afford a car until I was eight years old, even
though we had made seven moves by that time. During those years I never
really understood why he was always working several jobs, but now I
realize how he sacrificed himself to provide for his family during those
hard years. I learned much about working hard and sacrifice as I saw
my dad model it. I learned how to live with little and how to handle
money when times were hard.
But the most important lesson I learned was that of faithfulness to
the Lord, His house, and His service. We never missed a church service
- morning, night or midweek, even when it meant traveling nearly an
hour to get there. Church was a priority and I was regularly taken out
of little league practices and games to go to church. He taught us that
all of our possessions were really the Lord’s and were to be used
for Him. And as far as faithfulness in service, his record is unbelievable.
Some say he was the patriarch of our church. The historical society
of our denomination named him as one of the top seven key laymen in
the history of the denomination.
He modeled trust in the Lord in hard times. After 25 years at RCA he
lost his job unexpectedly during a period of downsizing. He never complained,
and, in fact, afterwards he never went a day without a job as he trusted
the Lord for employment. He modeled his faith in the Lord when we lost
mother in an auto accident. He missed her so much, but he never blamed
God. He went on living and serving God and trusting Him. He modeled
devotion to God in so many ways including reading his Bible through
annually from the time he was eight until his death. This year he was
using "The Message" for his reading. He was a faithful prayer
warrior and prayed for and with his family. He loved his family and
he was very special to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren who
loved him so much. His life touched so many people at church, in the
denomination, and in the community. Only heaven will show the extent
of his influence.
After he was diagnosed with a form of leukemia in November, he never
let folks know how ill he really was. And we couldn’t stop him
from keeping his busy schedule and going to church as he always had.
Even in the hours just before his death he was still doing church and
conference financial work. On Thursday we took him for his weekly trip
to the specialist for treatment. His blood counts had really dipped
and he was scheduled for another transfusion on Friday. He was so exhausted,
weak, and out of breath when we arrived home that I almost called the
ambulance. But he wouldn’t allow me to do that and he wouldn’t
allow me to stay with him overnight. He said, “I don’t think
the Lord will take me yet, I still have more of His work to complete”.
We reluctantly went home and I didn’t sleep at all that night.
When we arrived in the morning to take him to the hospital, I sensed
that he was gone even before we got out of the car. I was right. It
appears the Lord took him home moments before we arrived. He wanted
to go home. He was at peace - no more suffering. Oh yes, he had finished
all the church checks and his reports for the Board of Directors meeting
for that day. They were ready to go. His work was done and now he is
reunited with mother. That was his desire for 15 years.
So I can’t mourn his leaving. I owe him so much and I already
miss him. Recently I thought I should call him to share something I
had heard - but then I realized .... But I would never wish him back.
And I know that someday soon I will see him again. My heavenly Father
has promised me that and He is even more faithful.
So I say, thank you God for the privilege of having such a special man
as my father. I am truly a blessed person!