Lately, I have really been thinking a lot about a thing which I believe most men wrestle with at some point in their lives. Unless your father was taken from you at an early age, you certainly have or will experience these thoughts and emotions. I loved my dad and as I reflect on my life I can see how much I depended on him to be a stabilizing force… to be that person whom I could seek out when I ran into some of the major troubles that life sometimes brings our way… and even to talk to me REAL straight when I needed a new perspective.
Now, I do not have that sense of shelter that my dad could give me. I lost my dad to a long bout of cancer just a short time before I moved to Europe to become a full time missionary. I was actually alone with him in a small nursing home room early in 2009 when he breathed his last breath. I take comfort in believing that dad was a saved man… he believed in Jesus as his Savior. Still, as I reflect on these things, I realize that in a spiritual / family sense, dad passed the baton to me. That day there was a changing of the guard, so to speak. Now, I am thrust into that role… the role that he once held.
Honestly, I didn’t have enough time to process all of the emotions of this “change” before I boarded that plane in Memphis and took off for Romania. As I have lived here now (Europe) for almost 3 years, I have come to sense this responsibility more and more. I think a lot about my children and how I pray that I can become more of that stabilizing force in their lives. Lord, help me to live up to this responsibility. I am not a perfect man but I strive to serve the Lord with my life and I have encouraged my children to do the same. They do not always make the best choices and neither do I but I pray that as they get older and start families of their own, they will pass along my love for the Lord and the desire to serve Him in a way which is meaningful. Well, let me sign off for now and for my brothers out there who may struggle with these same emotions, I will pray for you and I ask you to pray for me. Stay strong… amen.