Growing up along beautiful Penn's Creek was a rather idyllic childhood.  Many Monday mornings found my Pastor daddy taking his day of rest by fly fishing on the banks of the creek.  He would sometimes wear his waders and carefully step out on the large flat stones which lined the floor of the creek.  I, personally, have stories to tell about those same stones.  In fact there was an accident involving my toe and two of the large discs which cost me a toenail one Summer evening.  But that is not relevant to this particular post.  Just one of those interesting facts of life that you never knew you wanted to know.


Dad would raise his arm with fly rod in hand and with surgical precision flick his wrist several times until the fly at the end of the line was in just the right place to land tantalizingly over a rainbow trout.  Well, that was the hope.  It seemed to me that there were more fails than wins by the number of times Dad would reel that fly back and do it again.  But with persistence and patience it wasn't uncommon for Daddy to bring back a trout, or three, which he carefully cleaned and Mom would prepare for him.  I have to believe that he did more catch and release than eating though.  For of all the fishing he did he surely caught a lot more trout than he ate.

As the years went by diabetes robbed my father of much of his vision.  At first it was just a minor nuisance but over time it became impossible for him to see that tiny fly at the end of his line.  Placing it carefully on just the right spot became a frustration rather than a joy.

Daddy gave up fly fishing and took up golf.

It was soon after my brother, Allan, and I graduated from high school and got lives of our own.  I remember being kind of miffed that they had this fun new activity that had never been a part of our lives before.  This led to travel to golf courses all over the United States.  In fact Mom made a quilt with squares that celebrate the different courses that held memories for them.  Over time diabetic symptoms robbed Dad of the ability to see the golf ball as it flew out over the fairway.  He would rely on Mom to tell him where it landed.  As she and I were recalling the other day he would get irritated when she would tell him that once again it landed near the trees.  "Which tree?"  he would want to know.  From what I hear that could get kind of amusing....if you weren't daddy.

Finally between the vision issues and diabetic neuropathy that caused immense pain in his feet and legs golf also became too much.  One by one things were "taken away" from my precious dad.  He now spent most of his spare time in his recliner watching his very large television.  Sports, mostly.  In fact, while he could no longer play golf, Daddy watched it for hours at a time.

I have no doubt that there was much frustration and anger at the loss of so much in his life.  These examples only scratch the surface of the changes, adaptations and frustrations that the failure of his physical body brought.  He was so human.

At some point along this journey a doctor's visit revealed serious blockages in arteries of Dad's heart.  Open heart surgery became necessary.  In the days leading up to this surgery I saw changes in my dad.  I saw him relax.  Peace came to him.  It seemed that God had opened a special window to his heart and poured in sunshine.  From that time on it was not uncommon to hear these words from Dad's mouth, "In light of eternity....." and then he would make some accepting statement.  It wasn't cliche.  It was from the heart.

As things of earth became dim....the light of heaven grew brighter for him.  Dad was still a very young man....he would have been in his late 40's and early 50's when he had multiple procedures on his heart.
And yet, his peace was greater than I had ever seen it.


It seems these days the culture tells us that we deserve the best.  We should always feel great, look awesome, take extravagant vacations, save a bundle of money and watch out for number one.  I have nothing against any of these things on their face.  However, I have observed that they are not necessary for joy and peace.  There is just one necessary ingredient for that.

God.

There is no substitute for the peaceful whisper of the Holy Spirit in our souls as trouble hits.  Or in joy of worship as it seems our hearts will just explode from the thankfulness for our salvation.

The knowledge that the ONE who spoke all that we know into being knows us intimately and has us in his ever watchful care takes the sting out of much.  It also gives us the peace to know that if it is His will it will be done....even if the "it" is an impossibility.

It is such an amazing thing that God, you know, GOD, wants to hear from us.  Any time, any where. Whether it is because we are happy and want to share it with our dearest friend, if we are scared because we are facing something that overwhelms and all times in between, God delights in our chatter with Him.

 I'll ever be thankful for those quiet and idyllic days along the banks of Penn's Creek.  They were a gift.  It is something I'm chatting with my Heavenly Father about this morning.  Well, that and prayers for the safety of two of our children and their friends as they head off to an amusement park on this very hot day.  He hears it all........

What might you be sharing with Him today?

Shared from the heart by Becky at Good Neighbors Candle Co.



Comments (4)

On July 15, 2013 at 10:17 AM , Kim said...

WOW! What a beautifully written heart felt post. Definitely hits home. What would we be without God in our lives? I know I would be lost . . . so thankful that I know that peace that your Father knew. That I can come to God with anything and know he hears me . . .whether the request be big or small . . .
Thanks for sharing Becky!

 
On July 15, 2013 at 11:39 AM , sammysgrammy said...

In light of Georgia's Release and your incredibly busy weekend, I'm praying that this awesome Shalom will rest upon you (even tho it looks to us as impossible) - with God all things are possible.

What precious memories of your Daddy you have stored in your heart.

 
On July 17, 2013 at 8:39 AM , Joyce Butler said...

Thank you for sharing from your heart.
I am thanking God for all these blessing, and asking Him to comfort my friends who have lost loved ones.

 
On July 24, 2013 at 11:58 PM , pfd said...

Your post is wonderfully thoughtful and touching. You have a beautiful gift of writing about our wonderful God. Thanks for sharing!
God bless,
Phyllis