Today my father would have been 51 years old. That’s still so young in my minds eye, and yet he’s been gone for 15 years this July. At the young age of 36, my father passed from this earth due to cancer.
People often ask “Was your father a Christian?” in the best laid efforts to assure me that I’ll see him again. Thankfully, in the last hour of his life, he came to know the Lord. It was hard for me to believe at the time since I wasn’t present when it happened. Thankfully it was a board member from our church (and my best friends father) who was able to lead him to the Lord. At one point when I doubted that this death bed confession was the real deal, my friend was able to assure me that it was. He said that his father came home and told him about it because he thought I might have problems grasping that concept. But that question usually just brings about sad looks from those who ask.
For a long time, I struggled with why God took my dad from this earth. He wasn’t there to see me graduate from high school or to send me off to college. I didn’t have a dad for Chip to ask for my hand in marriage. He wasn’t there to walk me down the aisle. He never met his grandchildren. And while my father was far from perfect, it’s still hard to deal with. Especially knowing that he came to Christ at the end of his life.
About 5 years ago, I finally threw myself into the arms of God and screamed, “WHY!?” I don’t think I had really grieved before then. But it was then, in the stillness of my heart that I had my answer. My father could have been healed. God could have reached down and touched him miraculously. But it was His mercy that called my father home to glory. If my father had been healed, he would not have continued to live for Christ. I know this. I’m not sure how, but I do. He would have walked out of that hospital and left God behind. In His mercy, God called Him home while He could. And I’m sooooo happy that He did!
It’s a hard day for me today. I’ll call my Gram later and have a good cry. I let my husband hold me and I’ll probably cry again. But I’ll go on in joy knowing that I do not mourn as those with no hope because I will see my daddy again!