Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, and ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

On Friday night at the hospital a group of us sang some hymns while my dad was in ICU. Someone chose to sing Great is Thy Faithfulness and I remembered that this is my Dad's favorite hymn. This was just one of the many little ways that God has showed His faithfulness to us in my Dad's death. And because of Christ we can say, "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"

A few weeks back I had noticed that God has been surrounding me with multiple friends who had lost one of their parents at a young age, a few were very recent. I started to wonder why this was the case. I believe it was just one of the ways God was preparing me for what was to come. What was to come in His perfect timing. My Dad had complications with the medicine he was on for Valley Fever and so it would be easy to question, "What if he had never entered the hospital?" and so on. But it was another blessing that God allowed Rick Holland (along with many others) to be there with us. He encouraged us on Friday night not to ask the what if's or why's, not to even allow our minds to go there, but to trust in God's perfect will. This helped me a lot while lying on the waiting room floor praying that God might let him live, but knowing it might be his time to go home. We didn't know that much about Valley Fever and we have no idea how hard it would have been for my Dad if he had kept on living.

I will miss my Dad terribly. Everyone keeps talking about his big, booming laugh. Definitely true. It embarrassed my Mom at the movies and Em and I used it as a means to find my parents at church after the service got out. I loved my Dad's sense of humor. Ever so often a bit cheesy...but he could handle teasing well. And Em and I teased him as he did us. He teased my Mom a lot too. Thinking of that brought me to tears the other day when my Mom said something that he would have totally teased her about. He loved sports and movies and road trips and spent a ton of time with us. I never ever felt neglected by my Dad. He was SUPER organized, he loved making lists and itineraries. Something that has helped us since he's been gone. He wasn't the most patient man but now he is! He's sinless now! And seeing my Savior's face!

Three things stuck out to me recently about how my Dad encouraged me spiritually. When my Grandma died he had me read 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 in the car while we were parked outside someone's house. On Sunday, the day after he died, John Rourke read this passage in church.

I remember we were in the "Sewing Room" (really the Den) in our house when he taught me about election. I don't know how it came up, but he explained how God loves everyone but He has chosen to love and save particular people.

When I doubted my salvation in high school he went over Hebrews 11 with me pointing out that we live by faith. We trust God and obey Him just like countless others did in that passage.

My Dad was a saved sinner. A wonderful father. I love him and rejoice that I will see him again someday, because my heavenly Father is most loving of all.

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
"For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?"
"Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?"

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.


Elizabeth said...

I can't praise God enough for His work in your life and His sovereignty before during and now after your fathers home-going. This is a really beautiful tribute to him. I love that his laugh helped you find him after church that's so funny! You're in my prayers.

tmssteve said...

I am so thankful that you and Emily are relying so fully on Christ. I have been praying for you all. I've written you a letter that I'll get around to sending. We love you all so much.

Ebeth said...

This is definitely Grace-full

The White Wave said...

My husband has worked at GTY for 14 years, and we will greatly miss your dad. I pray heartily and often for you and your sister and mom.

Karla said...

What a sweet testimony of God's faithfulness and the love you have for your dad. Thanks for sharing that Amanda, you have grown up to be a woman of great faith and I am so encouraged to see you cling to Christ...He IS sufficient.

Nicole said...

We never know how we will respond to trials when they come our way. To see God's grace in your life and your responses is truly a gift. I am sure you will have many more crying moments but i am confident that they will be sandwiched with the truth. Love you all and am blessed to read and hear about your dad's life and God's goodness.

Josi Casebolt said...

Amanda, you and your Mom and sister have been on my mind and I have prayed for you often. Thank you for your clear example of trusting and resting in our ever faithful God!

Marie said...
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