Several years ago, I sensed a nudge from the Lord to write my father a complimentary note, thanking him for ways he had been a good dad. For days I struggled. Dad’s dysfunctional behavior created many hurts in my and my mother’s lives through the years. Struggling with his own disappointments and failures, he made poor decisions that affected us.
Finally, one day, I made myself stay at my desk and begin writing. Dad, thanks for all that you have done for me. Thanks for taking me to school and picking me up all of those years. Thanks for taking me to church. Thanks for coming to my ball games, swim meets, concerts, and plays. Thanks for liking my friends. Thanks for loving my wife and children.
Surprisingly, the more I wrote, the easier it became. And the more I saw ways that my father was a good dad. As I wrote the note, I saw glimpses of a father who wanted to come out of his defeat and depression. I heard overtones of the man he wanted to be but for whatever reason did not become. I saw a man for whom I had compassion.
It would be the last Father’s Day card I would send. Within one year, Dad died of congestive heart failure. I’m glad I wrote the note. His dysfunctional characteristics would not cripple me as I fathered my own children. I could be an honorable son, husband, and father.
Isaiah reminds us to get our eyes off the past and focus on God today. He is enough for all of our yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows.