I opened my Bible this morning, and saw a note from my dad. It was the last note he wrote to me, “The next time you see me I’ll have new valves.” It was written on a torn off piece of scrap paper, and he’d just tucked it in with some other things he was mailing. I remember laughing when I read it in June.
And, now, tucked into my Bible, it is the last note I have from my dad. It is a misspelled, torn, priceless treasure. He touched it. He thought it. He wrote it. He sent it to me.
Suddenly, Grief overwhelms me and I can’t breathe. A wave of emotion knocks me off my feet and I feel as if I’m pinned to the ocean floor. I can’t set my feet onto anything solid underneath me and water surrounds me. I gulp for air but I feel like I’m breathing sea water and I want to throw up.
The only thing I can do is cry out, “O God, help me!”
My mind is a jumble of emotions and my heart is breaking. I miss my dad. I feel like I’m being torn apart. If only I could put my feet on something solid, I could stand up and walk. I don’t want this anymore, I’m tired of grieving.
I pray, “God, you are my only hope. You are the resurrection. You are life itself. You are eternal. Help me trust in your Word.”
My feet begin to feel the sand beneath me. “God, you are the promise of things to come. You have a hope and a future planned for me, and you will accomplish it.”
The waves start to recede and I stand on shaky knees. “God, you are the Savior. I know Dad is with you. I know he sits at your feet and that he worships you, alive and free. I know he is ok to be little before you.”
When grief overwhelms me, I lift my eyes to the heavens, that is where my help come from. God, the Maker of Heaven, the Creator of the earth, the Sustainer of all things has sustained me once again.
As I wipe the tears from my face I find myself thanking the Lord, for the wave of grief. Grief reminds me of how much I have loved, and how much I have been loved. It also reminds me that only God can save me, the same God who saved my dad.
In God’s mercy the waves are less frequent and less ferocious than they were when dad first left. In his grace, I am enabled to overcome.
It’s been a while now since dad moved into heaven and most of the waves are small and refreshing, gentle memories of dad. There are stronger waves that continue to hit me at my knee and jostle me a little. And occasionally a wave crashes against my chest and knocks me off my feet for a moment, but rarely am I pinned to the ocean floor.
I am reminded that it is God who is healing me. O God are with me, your rod and your staff they comfort me.
If grief causes me to think of dad worshiping at the feet of Jesus, then I am OK to grieve. And, I thank God that I don’t grieve as the world grieves. I thank God that I grieve with hope.
I have my dad’s last words written to me tucked away in my Bible. I have the last words he spoke to me, “I’m going to see Jesus today! I love you, sweetheart” tucked away in my heart.
And I have the written Word of God to reassure, comfort and sustain me through all the trials of life. God is with me, he will never leave me or forsake me. His grace is sufficient for me and the promises of God, my Savior, is the solid ground upon which I stand.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Have a wonderful day with the Father!