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Monday, June 19, 2006

"A Father's Desperation"

"Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with Him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying"  (Luke 8:41,42a).
What a blessing it is to know a father's love. Yesterday was Father's Day and my brother and I reminisced about our dad's love for us over the telephone. Dad's been gone almost eight years now but recollections of his love abound.  Many reading this have an assurance of their earthly father's love but I am very aware that not everyone does. But we all can have a deep assurance of our Heavenly Father's love!

Due to my ministry and our personal experience with Ester and her heart issues we have often seen the desperation of a loving parent. My most poignant memory was several years ago as I waited in the heart clinic at Boston Children's Hospital. An Indian couple had brought their tiny baby in for treatment. He was obviously very sick. A doctor came out and spoke to them in hushed tones and although I did not hear all the details of the conversation it was quite obvious that the news was not good. I watched and prayed and empathized as I saw the desperation on their faces.

Jairus is one of my favorite dads.  Although he had a leadership role in the synagogue his role as a loving dad took prominence in the brief story written about him by Luke.  I don't know how many children he had, but he had just one young twelve year old girl and she was dying. 

Help was desperately needed and Jairus, likely overcoming religious pride and prejudice, went to the right Person.  The story has several elements essential to fathering, but let's consider just one; Jairus was desperate to get help for his daughter.  He came to the Master and "fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with Him to come to his house." 

Our world is sick and dying, sin and wickedness abounds.  Our children are at the edge of a slippery precipice.  They're flooded with appeals to "Jump!" 

The same desperation observed in Jairus pleading with Jesus, on behalf of his daughter, needs to be demonstrated by caring fathers today.  His daughter was dying physically and Jairus needed Christ to intercede.  Today our children face a spiritual onslaught from the one whom Jesus said, "comes only to steal and kill and destroy."   We desperately need Christ to intercede for the hearts of our children.

Dads, today, let's follow the example of Jairus.  Critical problems demand a serious response.  Let's boldly stand up, persevere, and fight the spiritual battle for the lives of our children and grandchildren!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me so much that You willingly gave Your one and only Son to die for me.  The price Jesus paid for my sin was the greatest demonstration of love possible.  Help me as a parent to be motivated by Christ's unwavering devotion toward me as I love my children unconditionally and completely.  When I'm discouraged and feel like giving up help me to trust You even more, not looking to the circumstances or dwelling on  the undesirable behavior of my child, but rather looking to You the Miracle Worker! "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!"

Note from Brooksyne:  I was raised by a very strict father and I really struggled with his unending list of rules while growing up.  I'm so thankful that I found Christ as a teen and it helped me immensely in obeying his authority even when I didn't understand or agree with it.   Of course, as an adult, I came to realize that he was seeking to protect me from the evil influences that could easily devour me.  Daddy was a lot more fun as a grandparent to Ester – of course, that's because he didn't have the responsibility of raising her.  He left that hard job to me which is the way it's supposed to be.  I wonder what Ester will say about my "rules" a few years from now!

I shared a photo of Ester with my Dad in Friday's message. Today I will share one taken several years later with Brooksyne's dad. They are both enjoying a lollipop!
Ester with her PaPa Brooklyn (Brooksyne's dad)

The full story of Jairus and what happened following his appeal is found in Luke 8:40-56

Here's a song that has often blessed me and speaks of the wonderful love our heavenly Father has for each one of us.
"How Deep the Father's Love for Us."  Audio (mp3)   Video
These audio and video resources are provided by the Willingdon Church in British Columbia Canada

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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