A Godly Example

It was my dad’s birthday yesterday. We had a little family gathering and celebrated with a bonfire in the back yard after supper. My dad has always loved his birthday. When he was our high school Bible teacher, he would put extra credit questions on quizzes, like “What is important about October 14?” Anyone who knows my dad, will agree that he is one of those magnetic people who is   always fun to be around, easy to talk to, energetic, and engaging. Anyone who knows my dad well will also agree that he is driven by a deep love for his Savior and a passion for the lost of this world.

I didn’t know as I was growing up how blessed I was to have an earthly example in my father that so closely resembles that of my heavenly Father. But I did think of my dad as larger than life. He could do anything! Here are just a few unbelievable but true examples of his amazing abilities.

When I was five, dad used to incubate eggs and hatch chicks so we could raise hens and have fresh eggs in the jungle. One time, after waiting the prescribed amount of time, some of the eggs hadn’t hatched. Dad assumed they had not been fertilized properly or had simply not developed. So he dropped them in a hole he was digging to dispose of them. But as one broke open, he saw the head and partially formed body of a baby chick with yolk still oozing around it. Not wanting the slaughter of an innocent chick on his conscience, he scooped up the helpless creature and brought it to the house. My sister and I were fascinated by this half formed peep and wanted to keep it. We found a toy that was just the right size to be its “bed” and dad put the whole thing on the back of our gas fridge over the grate where it would receive constant warmth. Sure enough that embryonic chick continued to grow and developed into a perfectly formed hen!

Dad also rescued badly injured dog, the pet of our tribal neighbors. Wild pigs had run through the village and in the chaos, a dog who had given chase was turned upon and gored in the gut by one of the wild beasts. The tribal people treated their hunting dogs better than their wives, so the wailing they put up over this creature could be heard far and wide. My dad rushed to find out what the ruckus was about. The dog was barely alive with guts hanging out the gashes in his stomach. Not deterred by the gruesome wound, Dad set to work. He scooped up guts, washed, stitched and bandaged. And within a few weeks that dog was as good as new!

Dad made us toys from scraps of junk, took us with him to the village, taught us to swim in the freezing river, and rocked  us on his knee after supper while playing his harmonica. He could fix almost anything; if he didn’t have a necessary part, he’d just make it out of what he did have. I thought there was nothing my dad couldn’t do.

Today as I look back over my childhood, I find myself overwhelmed with the blessing of a father who passionately loves God  and has showed that in the way he has lived with his family. Dad’s unwavering devotion to us is a by-product of his devotion to His Savoir. This is dad’s greatest gift to me: the example of holistic godliness. I am compelled by Dad’s example to live a life of single minded pursuit of my Savior.

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