With the approach of Father’s Day, bittersweet memories rush in. The sensation of being carried in my father’s arms when I was too tired to walk. Warmth. Safety. Security. Love.
Remembering the Love of My Earthly Father
When thunderstorm season approaches, I picture my younger self, nestled in my father’s lap in front of the window, my face buried in his strong, solid chest, my heart pounding. Peaceful and soothing, I recall the deep tones of his voice, the gentleness of his words, explaining that God alone controls the lightning, reassuring me that I had nothing to fear.
Etched in my mind is a stormy night in my fifteenth summer when I lay awake watching the lightning flashes through closed blinds. I heard my mother’s voice, calming my little sister in the next room. The violence of the storm had the entire house astir.
Trust in My Heavenly Father
Then came a blinding crash. The house shook and sparks were visible through the blinds. And we smelled smoke. Calm but firm, my father called for us to come downstairs. With a voice of command, he was herding us toward the neighbor’s house when a bright flash revealed a hole in our house, right above my sister’s bedroom.
Shattered bricks from our chimney were discovered three blocks away. But because my daddy said there was nothing to be afraid of, I had no fear of lighting. I trusted the God who controlled it.
Fast forward twenty-five years. Father’s Day when I was forty-one years old was the first without my dad. Struck by lightning in the middle of a trout stream, the thing he told me not to fear took my father’s life. And I became afraid. But I learned again to trust the God who controls the lightning–the One worthy of my trust.
The Legacy of a Loving Father
I still close my eyes and imagine myself cradled in Daddy’s lap, but I reach for my Bible, reading the words of Job 36:32: “He fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark.”
Through the testimony of my father’s death, many people came to know the Lord. He was outspoken about his faith in life, and people who had ignored his words before came to accept the truth of God following his death.
Job 37:3-7 speaks volumes to me about God’s use of my father’s life and his death. It says:
He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven
and sends it to the ends of the earth.
After that comes the sound of his roar;
he thunders with his majestic voice.
When his voice resounds,
he holds nothing back.
God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
he does great things beyond our understanding.
He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’
and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
So that everyone he has made may know his work,
he stops all people from their labor.
Trust the One Who Can Calm All Storms
We may not understand the ways of God. He is too marvelous for mere mortals to understand. But He is a loving God who works all things for the good of those who love Him, for those who belong to Him. While individual events may not seem good, when woven into the warp and woof of our entire life, God will one day reveal the beautiful pattern He created, and we will know all was indeed for our good.
I miss my daddy so very much. His death remains the single most traumatic event of my life. However, I am confident I will see him again.
On that day, I will first behold my heavenly Father. The Creator of the lightning. And I will know all is well. “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Trust in your heavenly Father. The One able to calm all storms.