Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Dad's Broken Heart in the Father's Blessed Hands

Six months ago, a fifteen-year-old FFA student named Skylar went to her home in heaven after an accident. She was in a suburban with other students and a school teacher heading to an FFA event when the accident occurred.

Last night, her dad, David, spoke to a house full of men about the journey of his family's loss. To say that it was touching is an enormous understatement. Yes, every man in the room was touched to see the grace of God at work in the life of a man faced with such grief and heartache. But more than that, we were challenged to live for God like never before.

David spoke from the raw, yet deep experiences of his six-month journey and came to some very sobering decisions. He said that when you go through something like what he and his family are going through, you have two options: "fall back on God or push God away." I am so thankful to have witnessed what happens in a man's life when he decides to fall wholeheartedly back on God. Everything changes. Especially your focus and your purpose.

David goes to bed at night and asks two questions: 1) What did I do for God today, and 2) what did God do for me today? He said the second one is always easier to list than the first. God always does more for us than we do for Him, but why don't we do more for Him than we do?

I didn't know Skylar until last night. I can honestly say I know her now because I've seen her through her daddy's heart. Her relatively short time on this earth was well-lived for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of the way she lived her life for Christ, others have come to accept Him as their personal Savior, including a young girl whose route to school every day goes by the scene of the accident where Skylar died. That young girl and her family learned about Skylar and the way she lived her life for Christ, and she wanted to know Skylar's Savior personally.

I am challenged today by a dad whose love for God is helping him walk through the darkest nights of his life with a light that helps others find, believe in, and cling to our heavenly Father. The heart of that dad reminds me of the heart of that Father. God, our heavenly Father, gave His only Son willingly to die on the cross as an eternal payment for your sins and mine. That's an awesome Father, an amazing gift, and an incredible love!

Wherever you are right now -- whatever you're going through -- would you stop for a minute and make a decision to fall wholeheartedly into the arms of God? Pushing Him away only leads to darker darkness, lonelier loneliness, and emptier emptiness.

Darkness needs light. Loneliness needs presence. Emptiness needs substance. God gives all three generously to those who seek Him.

What can I do for You today, Lord?
Perry Crisp