On Father's Day 2019, my thoughts go to my dad, Raymond A. Rose. Born in Texas, Dad loved God and served Him gladly. As a member of the Greatest Generation, Dad enlisted in the US Army/Air Force, and served in the South Pacific. After college, and as the father of two boys, Dad enjoyed a successful career in business.
But he left it all to enter the full-time ministry. Eventually, Dad and I had the opportunity to serve in a church together during my adult years. Sweet memories.
Dad was gentle, loving, and anointed. God used him in the healing ministry, and people were often healed of eye problems as dad prayed. In his later years, people sought his wise counsel and comforting words as they struggled with life issues. My dad was a wonderful father, and I often asked him for advice. And he was always available, soothing, and Biblically correct.
He died in church on Palm Sunday 1991, having just taught his Sunday school class. He was rushed to the hospital, but had already entered the Gates of Heaven in his own triumphant parade. I believe that my mother was the first to welcome Dad home like she did so many times before. Grand reunion.
As I left the hospital with a plastic bag that contained his personal effects, it dawned on me that I had never lived a day without my dad. Who would I call now? Who could possibly listen to my rants and not hang up? And then, I became angry with the crazy traffic. Didn’t they know that my dad had just died? Let’s have some respect, please!
Tears filled my eyes, and sorrow swept over me, so I pulled into a gas station and wept for a while. My dad was gone, and I was on my own without his guidance and strength. Deep suffocating silence filled my car. Now what?
Incredibly, I started singing a chorus from Handel’s Messiah. It is based in Isaiah 9:5, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, ….….”
And when I sang “the Everlasting Father,” all of Heaven filled my car. Jesus, the Messiah, is my Everlasting Father. My dad was now with Christ, but Christ remained with me! Jesus is the father of eternity. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. He is the maker and upholder of all of His Creation. Hebrews 1:3 ESV, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds (sustains, preserves) the universe by the word of His power.”
Bottom line: Jesus is well able to fill the void that my marvelous father left behind. And He can do the same for you.