021. The Art of Healing

I think we often take for granted how God answers our prayers. We discount the time in which they happen; that they aren’t answered in an obvious manner, where it’s clear the supernatural will of God has been had. Justice has been served. That struggle is over. Healing has come.


I’ve said before that my dad’s passing a few weeks ago was an answer to prayer. Time has only convinced me more that this is the truth. I was driving frantically down the 91 to my parents’ house minutes after I got off the phone with the nurse who informed me that he was gone. With tears streaming down my face, I thanked God for healing my dad. He had answered our prayers in the truest way possible. My dad had fought the fight, grew in love of HIS God, loved and cared for my mom, my sister, and I; held onto what was left of his life for well over a decade because, I’m convinced, he wanted to see all the legacy (all the grandkids) be born and turn into little people who would carry his name.


He held on an enormous amount of time. He lost two sisters, a brother-in-law, a nephew, his parents, and numerous friends while he was hanging on. Pressing into his situation, not rejecting God, but in fact praising Him in it, and saying “He died for me, so I can do this for Him.” What kind of strength is that…knowing that you haven’t had your earthly body healed in the miraculous nature God can heal in?!?


My dad’s disease and last twenty years of life is just as much about my mom as it was about him. Sure, she said vows of dedication that we all do, “through sickness and health” but, much like there is a difference between a wedding and a marriage, there is a huge difference in caring for your other half while they’re sick and watching a disease suck the life out of your spouse slowly, and methodically, until they’re barely hanging on. My mom’s faith, too, has been strong. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t doubts or that there won’t be any anger or fear; we are only human. We are made in the image of our God, and I’m certain He understands and knows those emotions even better than we do. My mom’s day-in and day-out has been an example to anyone who loves: this is how you practically love and sacrifice from your soul. It’s the very definition of dedication, and she did so without resentment. She, too, can enter into rest knowing she fulfilled her calling.


They say that you can tell a lot about a man by looking at his children. I’m certainly not perfect, but neither was my dad; no one is. The best I can do is attempt to honor him by being the man he raised me to be, watching his example: in how he loved my mom, I can love my wife like that…and better. In the way he would talk to us, matter-of-factly, about Jesus, I can speak to Lincoln and Reid with the same confidence. The way my dad pushed forward thanking God, I can sing those same praises in the midst of my anger, sorrow, and sickness. My dad was a man after God’s own heart, I can yearn to be the same.


My sons will grow in this legacy, honoring their Papa by carrying that banner of God’s love for His people, they will love their wives like my dad loved my mom, they will care for their kids and set an example that’s even better than his or mine. And it will come natural to them because of the example my dad set for me and for everyone that he met. He inspired people to be thankful for what they had; whether it was health or disease, happiness or sorrow, laughter or tears…


I believe we all are called to honor my dad’s legacy by loving God the way he did; by loving our spouses well; through pain, through doubt, through unsurety. By unconditionally loving our children and training them up to make Jesus as beautiful as He is. In the midst of prayers answered with “wait.” In deterioration. In fatigue. And at the end, in that final breath, when we’re called home and the prayer is answered, it will be announced with a “well, WELL done, MY good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your Master.”


This is the legacy of my father, the man of God: to love well; not in spite of adversity, but because of it. It is the heart of God and my dad was a man after God’s own heart.


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