The Greatest Gift

Today marks the 4 year anniversary of my dad's passing. Even though we remember him in a special way on this day, there's not a day that goes by where I don't think about him. He continues to impact my life in countless ways. As I reflect on what he left behind, there is always one thing that comes to mind- the great gift for which I am most thankful. 

I have only a few of possessions from my dad. A ring, annual pajamas, an obsolete discman I can't bring myself to get rid of, and an old spiritual journal of his that I cherish. I have few things I inherited from him- my love of basketball and my stubbornness, I'm sure among many other things. 

In the midst of all of those little "gifts," the one for which I'm most thankful is the fact that He always pointed me to the One who would always be there. 

I remember as a teenager, seeking out his advice. It always began with, "The Bible says..." Or, "Turn to...." Of course, I always sighed, probably disgruntled because I was usually looking for a quicker fix or his opinion but I rarely found it. He was always showing me the One who would always be there. I can't even pinpoint any times where he gave me his own personal advice on a matter, with the exception, of course, of the basketball court in which he was more than willing to lavish his expertise on me at any time!

He was an amazing dad and because of that, he was always needed and now, is consequently missed. 

But the One to whom he always pointed is still here. I can imagine he probably counted on being around longer than 61 years, but in that time, never missed an opportunity to point me toward Jesus Christ. 

In his absence is still God's presence, and because of that, I still have what I need. 

Now I'm both a child and a parent. As I ponder the task of trying to do the same for my own children, I of course desire to be the best mom I can be and do everything I can for their well-being. In the midst of that, I must remember that there is only one guarantee for them in this life, and it's not me. 

I must continually point those around me to Christ. I am, like my dad, a limited human being operating on the grace of God for a temporary amount of time. Life here is so short in the grand scheme of things. Those around me don't most need me. 

They most need and must depend on the Only One who can and will always be there, who has the answer to everything and knows what the future holds. 

He is our only guarantee. 

I'm thankful everyday for my wonderful dad and the time we had. I've extremely thankful that He taught me to look to God, who would be around even after he was not.   

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God  that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Romans 8:38-39