Well, here I sit viewing old photos from my IPhoto library and my emotions take over. The cliche about children growing up too fast is for sure a very real feeling. The temptation with any gift from God is to treasure it above the One providing the gift. In this case, the gift is my daughter. The Giver is the One who created every fiber of her being and chose to place her under my care.Being a dad isn’t easy. There’s much pressure to provide and to keep.Provide shelter – she loves her own room and has 90+ stuffed animals currently.Provide food – she loves cooking with mommy, but she personally loves everything from frozen waffles to strawberries, from homemade pizza to a good taco.Provide quality time and quantity time (dances and tickle times are a must). Oh so often I feel the weight of her sad face looking at me leave for work as she walks me to the door.Provide opportunities for growth academically, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.And keep her focused on what matters most and what must be supreme in her life.Keep her secure in her sleep, relationships, and whatever small groups she might find herself.Keep her inspired as a student, worshipper, sister, musician, artist, and dreamer.And so much more providing and keeping not mentioned here. These are just two great and welcomed pressures that a dad like me joyfully accepts. But these pressures are nothing compared to my greatest temptation/pressure – to worship the gift.I pray almost every day that God would give me the eternal perspective about everything, especially fatherhood. Especially when Jasey and I laugh together, play together, dance together, or read together. Like tonight, there she was laying in her bed with her gorgeous mommy and I was standing outside the room. They were reading. The words being read were really good words. Words that are coming from the lips of an 8 year old (I think for the first time in her life):
“6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. 12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guardto all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. and ” (Philippians 1:6-18)
As I went in and laid on the bed with them my heart melted and I prayed. I prayed that God would sustain me in the fight to never allow my daughter become the object of my worship. But instead, that He would help me serve, lead, guide, and enjoy this most precious gift for His glory.
They kept reading as I pondered that deep thought with God and then suddenly her younger brother ran in, jumped on my back and licked my face. The sudden snap from a precious Hallmark episode moment to a Phineas and Ferb episode. So, on this night, God answers my prayer.
I love being HIS child. I can honestly say that I love that more than being Jasey’s dad…but it’s a battle.