Monday, June 19, 2017
Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided to stay alone in Athens, and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s co-worker in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are destined for such troubles. Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come—and they did, as you well know. That is why, when I could bear it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out whether your faith was still strong. I was afraid that the tempter had gotten the best of you and that our work had been useless. 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5(NLT)
I’m certain Paul considered the believers at Thessalonica his children in the faith. His fatherly love for them shouts through this passage when he confesses he couldn’t stand it any longer, not knowing if they were still holding firm in the faith. It seems Paul had heard about the persecution the young Christians were facing, and was anxious to know how they were faring. It’s like that with fathers. A father has dreams that his children’s dreams will come true; you want the best for them.
Yesterday was Father’s Day, and it was also the 99th anniversary of my Dad being born. He went home to be with Jesus two years ago and I miss him terribly. That being said, I would not draw him back from Heaven for even a moment, even if that were possible.
But I do think often of his care for me, and the ways he was anxious for my well-being. I never felt wanting when it came to being loved by my father.
When I was 16 I played high school football. One time I zigged when I should have zagged, and a knee from another player found its way into my side, and that led to a speedy trip to the hospital in the back of Coach Weitz’s station wagon, and emergency surgery for a ruptured spleen.
Mom and Dad spent six hours in the waiting room while the docs put me back together. There was plenty of “waiting-room coffee” but nothing to eat. I am told that when they wheeled me out of surgery around 10pm past my parents I was white as a sheet, unconscious, and had tubes, needles and IV bags hooked-up to arms, legs, and any other available spot. Dad never ate lunch, and hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast that morning. Sources say he turned white as his comatose son, got wobbly-kneed, sagged back into his chair and fainted. Now my Dad was 6’2” and a man’s man, but the sight of his little boy in that shape drove any pretense of remaining strong when your kid might bleed to death.
Years later I can think of that whole escapade and laugh. If Dad were still here he would say in his customary lame way: That’s easy for you to say…you were taking a nap the whole time!
It’s true; I was out cold and never knew the real danger I faced, and how the doctors were busy saving my life. But Dad never prayed so hard or felt so pressed and helpless. Such is the burden of one who cares.
It is a good reminder, Father’s Day, to remember and give thanks for those who have cared for you and guided you through troubled times.
We have a Heavenly Father to thank, and for Whom we can be grateful!