My birthday was last week. I received many, many messages on Facebook, a couple nice meals, text messages, phone calls…you know. As wonderful as those messages were, and as much as they are appreciated, there is one written message I received that stands above them all.
As most any man will confirm, the greatest words we can ever hear can only come from a father. Those words are, “I’m proud of you.” There is just something incredibly powerful about those words when they come from your dad. My dad is a wonderful man. He’s my hero. Living up to his standards was pretty much an impossible dream. There were times he let me know it, and there were numerous other times when he didn’t have to. I just knew it.
Out of respect for him and the precious personal gift of words he gave me, I won’t share everything he wrote in my birthday card. Trust me, if I did, I probably wouldn’t be able to complete this post. But I want to tell you that he finished what he said with those words I had never heard come from him in any form.
“I’m very proud of you.”
It took 45 years to get those words from him. I have known for some time that he’s been proud of the way I’ve turned out. I know I’ve disappointed him more times than can be counted. But I also know that despite my shortcomings and colossal failures, he sees in me a man in a desperate pursuit of God.
As I sat back and bathed in the wonderful feelings of those words from him, I’m so thankful that he put them in writing. These words are hand written by the man I admire most in this world. I can revisit those words every single day for the rest of my life, even if that is long after he’s enjoying his eternal reward.
I consider the swell of confidence and validation in those words from my dad, and I think that as wonderful and powerful as they are, they pale in comparison to the words God has put in writing for me…and for you. The bible is loaded with love notes from His heart to us. There are simply too many to list here, but I’ll list a few which have sustained me through difficult times in my life.
- Jeremiah 29:11-13 has been a very special passage to me for 25 years.
- Isaiah 40:28-31 I had never heard or read this verse until I heard it in a song many years ago. It has stuck with me ever since and reminded me of God’s power that is available to me.
- All of Psalm 139 Back in bible college, I sang a song called You Are There which really introduced me to this chapter. God knows me intimately, and loves me anyway! He isn’t with me everywhere I go to make me feel guilty or to condemn me, but because He loves me and wants to be with me! Amazing!
- All of Psalm 23. God surrounds me with such beauty, and walks with me through it all!
I could go on and on and on. The point is, God’s love for me surrounds me. Even on the low days in my life, just like my dad’s card to me, I can open up God’s word and revisit the long list of verses which He put in writing to remind me of His love and devotion to me. Just like my dad’s words, I’m simply overwhelmed.
What verses do you revisit when you just want to be reminded and overwhelmed by God’s love for you?