A Special Anniversary   2 comments

October 11, 1972.  That was the day I knelt next to my father and invited Jesus Christ to become my Savior and Lord.  Today, October 11, 2010, I celebrate 38 years of knowing Jesus personally.  Have I been an ideal disciple or model believer?  Not even close.  Have I become the perfect Pastor having been in His service full-time for the past 11+ years?  Nope.  I’m still learning as I go on all accounts.

What strikes me about today’s anniversary is how this is the first one without the one who led me in that prayer.  Dad is gone, and reflection times seem so much deeper now.  I wish that wasn’t reality, but spiritual discernment is often a branch from the tree of retrospection.

A few days ago, I was able to finally get something off my chest with the Lord and I’m thankful for a retreat of silence to allow me that moment.  I knew that there was more on my heart than even my conscious mind realized.  It was a heaviness that told me, “You’re not done with mourning just yet.”  I had no idea what I was supposed to do or what it was that I needed to clear up with the Lord.  I’ve never experienced such a state of spiritual confusion until now.

But then it happened.  On retreat, I took my picture of Dad and simply laid on my bed starting into his eyes.  Nothing.  I noticed his genuine smile and all of the details of the photograph down to whatever collection he had in his shirt pocket.  Still nothing.  I knew that I needed to pray but didn’t know what to pray or how.  Suddenly, it dawned on me.

I was only days away from my birthday as a believer in Jesus Christ.  October 11th was only a few days away and I wanted to remember that day in a special way this time because Dad wasn’t there but God’s presence was obvious.  I knelt down on my knees on the right side of the bed, placed Dad’s picture along my side exactly where Dad knelt nearly 38 years ago, and started to pray.  The prayer itself didn’t last long because weeping came quickly and with great vigor.

I had not yet truly thanked God for my Dad.  I had cried and mourned, reflected and remembered, spent time alone and time with family; still this one thing was missing.  I needed to thank God not only for that mid-October day from so many years gone by, but also for the one who helped me experience the greatest event in my life for all time.  I needed to thank God for my Dad’s faith.

Naturally, this makes me think of the rest of my family.  How thankful am I for the faith of my mother, sister, wife, and children?  Have I really thanked God for my middle son’s faith and recent commitment to Christian service?

Have you ever thanked God for the faith of those you love?

2 responses to “A Special Anniversary

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  1. Dave,
    What a beautiful experience you shared with us! Really made me sit back and reflect on so much we have to be thankful for.
    Great blog…I will enjoy reading. Loved your bio…it speaks in true “Peppler” fashion! Take care. Renae

  2. You have such a way of searching out your heart, then sharing what God shows you and how He blesses you at all times. As always, I will look forward to the next Pep Talk. Thanks for continuing them. Martha

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