Saturday, February 21, 2009

Loving Father...

Beginning today, Deuteronomy is the book of the Bible that this historical adventure leads me to study. Chapters 1 and 2 cover Moses' retelling of all that had happened since the children of Israel left Egypt heading toward the promised land.

My heart breaks a little for Moses as I begin to read this book because as he stands before his people to encourage and instruct them, he knows that he is saying his final good-byes, and also that he will not step foot in the promised land.

Moses used this opportunity to present the "Second Law" (which is what the word Deuteronomy actually means) to his people, because the first time he'd delivered the law was at Mount Sinai, and everyone present for this re-telling was only a child then if they were alive at all.

For several years now, five to be exact, my own father has reminded me fairly often that he has "outlived his warranty," having anticipated for whatever reason that he wouldn't make it past the age of 72. I am so grateful to God that daddy has made it to 77, and I hope there are many more vibrant years ahead for him, but since his "warranty expired," my dad has taken almost every available opportunity to remind me of his love for me and for my family, and of his pride in us. He has also expressed some random regrets about things he wishes he had done differently, but these things are non-issues that aren't worthy of mention because of the tremendous out-weighing of the very good over the things he considers to be not so good.

Thinking about these conversations with my dad and reading through these accounts of Moses' final challenge to his children makes me give serious consideration to what I would want to say and how I hope I would feel if I knew I was sharing my last message with my loved ones. But even more than that, this scene from history makes me keenly aware of the significance of each day and the urgency of every opportunity.

I love Moses' reminder to God's children from chapter 1, verses 30-31:

The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. 31 And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’

What precious promises to leave with his people.

And that's really what it all boils down to, isn't it? Knowing that God is always going ahead of us, that he fights for us, and that he cares for us whether we are in the middle of the wilderness or in the center of the promised land--just as a loving father cares for his child.

I know of few people who are more blessed than I have been to have an earthly father who desires to be a model of the Heavenly Father's love to his children. The knowledge that my Heavenly Father cares for me and loves me even more than my daddy is an amazing thing. So, papa, be encouraged--there is nothing you've missed in the way of demonstrating, proving, and assuring me of your love. I know that your heart's desire is to paint a portrait of Him and His love--and in the grand scheme of life, that's what matters most. Thank you father. And, thank YOU Father. Amen.

"...But that's all right as long as I can have one wish I pray.
When people look inside my life, I want to hear them say.
She's got her Father's eyes, her Father's eyes
Eyes that find the good in things, When good is not around.
Eyes that find the source of help, When help just can't be found.
Eyes full of compassion, seeing every pain.
Knowin' what you're going through, and feeling it the same.
Just like my Father's eyes..."Amy Grant

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