01 Aug Words of Blessing
As we ended our study on David, we saw David speak words of blessing over Solomon as he began his reign as king. In the bible, fathers are often seen pouring words of blessing over their children. Children are also told to honor their parents, and because only God knows the number of days each of us has, it is important to speak those words as God calls us to. When my dad was turning 75, I felt a strong directive from God to give my dad a written blessing. We saw from David’s life that no family is perfect, that sin and selfishness plague us as people living in a fallen world. My family was no exception. My relationship with my dad to that point was pretty superficial. He didn’t surrender his life to Jesus till he was in his 60’s, he drank a lot and my parents’ marriage was more of a battlefield than a picnic. And of course, I was no model child. I struggled to write what God asked. So I began to pray that God would bring to mind what he wanted me to say. I ended up writing down 25 memories of my childhood, many of which I saw God redeem as I processed thru them as an adult, looking at things from God’s perspective rather than my own childish pictures. Along with that, I wrote down 25 character traits I saw in my dad and 25 scriptures that went along with them. It was a precious and redeeming experience for me. As God filled my mind with those memories, and the characteristics my dad displayed, and I pondered the scripture verses, my heart changed. I became thankful for all the things God used to draw me to him, including my family and all the hard struggles we have gone through. There was much laughter and many tears as I put the book together.
Some of the memories I shared with him were: I remember when I backed my car out of our driveway and right into a ditch several times early in the morning, and you would get up and pull it out for me. I remember seeing you take care of your aging parents, even when they were hard to get along with or started forgetting what was happening. I remember how hard you worked with a few other families to keep St. James School open. Now there are waiting lists to get in because you saw the importance of it.
Some of the characteristics I loved about my dad were: Family was very important to you in the difficult times in life. I used Psalm 90:10 with it—“The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” You taught me that hard work is important and if anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well. Colossians 3:23—“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” You wanted to protect us by knowing where we were, who we were with and what we were doing, which didn’t go over too well sometimes. But that didn’t stop you. Psalm 121:7-8—“The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going, both now and forever more.”
My dad’s birthday came and I had to leave before the gifts were opened, so I asked my mom to give it to my dad after the party was over. I wasn’t sure what his response would be. My mom called me the next day to thank me for doing that and told me my dad cried when he read it. A few days later I got a written note from my dad thanking me and telling me how God had used my book to bring peace to his heart, because he never considered himself a good father. It was the first note I had ever received from him. And of course, my mom made it clear she would be waiting for hers in a few years. My dad turned 85 this year, but those books continue to sit on their table surrounded by family pictures as a reminder of the redeeming power of words of blessing.