The problem with us mortals is that we continually limit God. As a result, we don’t just limit God, but also ourselves and everyone around us. When we limit God it affects how we live. Three years ago, today, I led my dad to personal faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. But three years and one day ago, I thought that moment would not happen, because of something I heard him say as he sat on the side of his hospital bed, unaware that I had entered the room. His words were so devilishly daunting that I hesitate to even share them here. But I will, because I think doing so may encourage you or someone you know when you see how things turned out. You see, no one is beyond reach when it comes to the transforming power of Jesus Christ.
“I’m just like Hitler. Whatever I say, people have to do.” These are the words that slipped from my father’s lips – the very day before he gave his life to Christ. That was a dark day in his life – and mine as well. Neither of us knew he was just 10 days from death. Who, in their right mind, would say such a bizarre thing? Dad was in his right mind – humanly speaking – but spiritually, he was as distant from God as every single one of us before we have the veil removed and we see the Light. It was that day I began to think “Maybe Dad will never give his life to Christ. Maybe it just won’t happen.” I thank God that He would not let my stinking thinking limit Him from what He wanted to do in the life of my father.
“. . . in the end, God won and my relationship with dad was powerfully, gloriously enriched.”
Dad had served his country in the Air Force, with great dignity and success (I included his basic training photos, when he was just 20 years old, with this post). But dad struggled being a father, as his father had struggled, too. He and I were estranged for over a decade, and all through my childhood he and I struggled to get close to one another. Until the moment he accepted Christ, dad never seemed to show an interest in God, and he rebuffed repeated attempts by me and others help him realize he needed to repent and to be forgiven.
God can do the impossible. That’s what God does, and He does it exceptionally well.
There is a lot more to the beautiful story of reconciliation between my dad and me. There is a lot more to the beautiful story of his reconciliation with God. My relationship with my Dad was one of the most amazing, healing and powerfully transforming things in my life. God did such an amazing work that when I think of my dad I have fond affection, and great joy knowing that in the end, God won and we were powerfully, gloriously enriched. I’ll share more on those details in future posts, but for now, I have two important questions you might want to ask yourself, and then adjust your life, accordingly:
- Have I given up on someone on whom God has not given up?
- Have I begun to limit God?
I sure would love to hear your thoughts. Share away . . .