Seeing fatherhood clearly

The air was thick with emotion and excitement… excitement because of what had just occurred before the eyes of the crowd, emotion so strong no one dared speak as word came to the father that his daughter had just died. Such a contrast of jubilation and sorrow. The woman standing before the rabbi had just been healed completely of a disease she had long battled, even to the point of destitution. The Father, a church leader no less stood helpless and hopeless as his future and his hopes were dashed to pieces in a moment of time as the messengers words took hold of his heart. “Your Daughter is Dead!” As he steadied himself and his eyes met the rabbi’s he heard the words, “let’s not trouble the rabbi any longer.” And before he could even respond the comforting words of the Nazarene landed clearly in his heart… “Do not be afraid; only believe.” For dads past present and future we each know the challenges, fears and overwhelming concerns we have for our children and their futures. We would fight-even die, if necessary for their safety and well being and yet at times we struggle to know how to do it right, make the right choices and be the fatherly influence we need to be. Then those words of the Rabbi speak through the ages to us all… “Do not be afraid; only believe.” The man’s name was Jarius, the rabbi’s name, Jesus. We are not privy to the little girl’s name nor are we told what kind of a girl, woman or mother she grew up to be but what we do know is this. She did grow up because Jesus came to her home and healed her and more importantly for us dads we know a few more key pieces of information. We know what she saw when she came to and looked into the face of her father.

When she opened her eyes and looked at her daddy she saw that he was not ashamed to seek out Jesus. Dads, let your babies know there are something you cannot do… but show them, that you have faith in the one you say you serve, faith in the one you go to church to worship, sing about—Let them hear you calling out on the Name of the Lord, and not just in church! As a father I must be seeker of Him… a seeker of God’s wisdom, strength, guidance. The second thing I want you to notice: She saw that he was not ashamed to express his love toward her. He loved his daughter, and this love said I do what I have to do, go where I have to go to see that you’re made whole. We don’t know how long she lived but I do believe that there was not a day that went by, that this girl didn’t know… I’m alive today because of my daddy’s love for Me!

It was nine years June 30th as I recall, and a Saturday to be exact. Then, the moment of truth, the moment she had been waiting for all her life. Then just as the doors swung open wide before us to the sound of the Wedding March my precious Stephanie looked at me and said, “Daddy, I want my marriage to be just like yours and Mommie’s”. We’ve have our ups and downs like everybody, but we always loved the Lord together and each other, and you know what? Stephanie was watching. Terri and I didn’t always agree… but Stephanie was watching. We faced heartache and loss, we laughed and cried, we did our best to honor God and each other, that was our vow before God… and she was watching… they all are!