For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4: 12
It will be the first Thanksgiving with one less person around our family table. The patriarch, my dear father, will be sorely missed. Last night, I cried as I gazed at the stars and thought of him at home in heaven now with his Savior. I am sad for me, but am happy for him.
Yesterday, I pulled Dad’s Bible off the shelf in his office. I choked up and felt the tears come as I looked at his precious engineer’s handwriting in that Bible. It is a legacy of faith that can be passed down to the generations that follow. It was like a window into his spiritual life, the invisible part that he shared with God demonstrated by the notes and musings in his Bible. In it he made notations by Bible verses he loved, he had stuffed in the back a couple devotionals and sermon notes. My Dad had a spiritual life. He realized he was here for a purpose bigger than himself. It was the greatest gift he could ever share with us all: his wife and daughters, and our families.
Yesterday marks one month since his tragic accident. But, according to Dad, maybe it wasn’t so tragic after all. He told me we should be happy for the home-going of believers in Jesus. Maybe Dad was telling me it would be OK when he was gone just a few short weeks later. For my own encouragement and help, God put it on his heart to tell me that.
Looking through his Bible is more precious to me than looking at his woodworking pieces or his tractor ribbons. Or looking at the house he built does not compare with looking at Dad’s Bible. I know that if he could see me sitting down here in his office, he might say, “Megan, look at the Bible and ignore all the rest of the 'stuff' of this life. There is One Book, One Person that is important. Everything else is vanity and like grasping the wind.”
Dad has the secret now. He passed on from this vale of tears and would not want to come back no matter how much you paid him. He is with Jesus. Jesus, the One who makes our heart finally to rest, the One who sees all our failures and yet loves us so much.
We have to learn that we are not here for this life and what it offers. We are here for one reason, “That I may know Him…” as the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10. I love how Luke describes the apostle’s experience when they walked on the Road to Emmaus with the Risen Jesus, yet they did not know it was Jesus. They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:32) Burning hearts, filled with the knowledge of the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ, that is what every soul longs for deep down. The unbeliever just tells lies to himself all his life and say that his life is full without God but deep down in their soul they know it's not true.
I wonder how precious it is now for Dad on the other side of eternity, far beyond the stars I gazed upon last night. As I have learned, all my capacity for eternity is filled only in this life. If we want to know Him here, we will know Him there. If we say, “See ya later, I want to live my own life,” He will sadly, let us live our own life. As we lose our own lives, we find what our hearts are really longing for. It is a great paradox, Jesus tells us to lose our own life. Now that sounds like a very hard and difficult thing to do. But actually, when we find out that Jesus is not a cruel taskmaster but the Lover of our soul, it is not hard. How can it be hard to walk in love? It is much harder to walk in hatred, bitterness, and un-forgiveness.
Dad would agree with all these things now. When I look at a picture of his face, how I long to see him again. But it won’t be long. When I do, there will no more goodbyes, no more tears. Just peace and fellowship around the Lord’s Table forever. What a hope we have in Jesus, and what a Redeemer too. Because He is our Redeemer,the one in whom we must trust, I will see my father’s smiling face again. When I get there, it will like I have been there all along. All our hearts are waiting for resides in that place, and it will just be a “moment,” and I will see him again.
Tomorrow, as we give thanks, I will especially give thanks to God for that.