EMPOWERING LIVES WITH PURPOSE:
Guest Writer: Day Marshall
Notes from our Father
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps 46:10, NIV)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” (John 14:27, NIV)
Recently I was talking with a dear friend on one of our semi-regular video calls. Both of us lost parents, suddenly and unexpectedly, about a week apart. Both of us spent weeks diligently going through the artifacts of our parents’ lives. For me, it was photos of my dad’s life that I’d never seen. Letters and awards he’d kept for 80+ years. Notes his own mother had mailed to him while he was away at West Point. Pictures of high school friends and events. They gave me eyes to see him in ways I had never considered – that he was a person before he was my dad.
He was a baby, a child, a teenager, a student.
My friend’s sorting through her mom’s belongings included many forms of her writing. Notes about sentiments that were important to her. Quotes that resonated with her heart. Personal thoughts that she quietly recorded but didn’t necessarily share aloud. My friend reflected that as she was reading these words, she felt her mom’s presence. Not in a ghostly way, but in a way that allowed my friend to feel connected to her mom because of her words written.
My friend found examples of her mom’s humor, her love of the Lord, care for her children, and the things she believed to be important. My friend could hear her mom’s voice and reflect on her mom’s character and heart through the words she chose to record by putting pen to paper.
In our conversation, I considered how our heavenly Father communicates with us in similar ways through His Word.
When we read the words He chose to record, when we encounter the lives He chose to give detail about, when we look at the events He chose to underscore in His Word, we see His character, His heart, and His will. It is through His Word that we can draw near to Him in our hearts and feel His presence.
Hebrews 4:12 reminds us that God’s Word “is alive and active”. His Word is also a light that guides us (Ps 119:105) and provides understanding (Ps 119:130). It is a source of wisdom and knowledge (Prov 2:6). And for those grieving, and feeling so alone, most comfortingly, it is a source of hope (Ps 119:114).
Perhaps it is for these reasons that seeing our Lord’s words give us a sense of closeness to the Author. And the closeness that my friend experienced when reading the words of her mother is available to us when we draw near to the Father by reminding ourselves of His heart, His character, and His desire for us as His children.