Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Waiting for Dad to See Jesus Face-To-Face

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

As I sit in the hospital room with my dad my thoughts are scattered.  I know I need time to grieve.  I know my emotions are on edge.  I know that just the sight of my in-laws this morning followed by my father’s brother brought tears to my heart – for them and for me.  Did I say I know I need time to grieve?  I know that working helps me grieve and helps control my emotions at the same time.  I have thoughts like: what will I do without my father? Who will I turn to with my many questions in life?  As the oldest son – the oldest patriarch of the family – what does that mean?  Why can’t I be strong for the family and friends?  Why must I be so emotional?  What will my mom do without dad?  What about my sister and brother and the grand/great children? What about my wife, my sister-in-law and my brother-in-law?  My brother-in-law has been like a son to dad and has cared for him like his own father – and we cried in each other’s arms last night at the hospital!  My mind races to the next steps.  Should we have a private burial followed by a memorial service?  Should we have a fellowship meal?  Where will we hold the service?  Who would we ask to help – there are so many pastors in the family – pastors dad influenced – pastors that know him and us?  What funeral home will we use – we have such a good relationship with so many?  Should we call Hospice Care?  Is dad really comfortable?  Can he still hear me pray with him?  How many angels can dance on the head of a needle?  These are just a few of the things running through my head.  If you have been where I am right now – you know the many thoughts that are going through my mind.

So a classmate from High School sends me the above Scripture: 1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.  For the person who always needs to be doing for others and doing – period – I must rest in Him and give Him all my anxiety and concern.  I must allow others to minister to me and to allow the emotions to run their course.  I need to sit and listen to the still voice of God in my heart.  So I began to sit and search the Word of God for the voice of God.

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Psalms 55:22 – Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

Hebrews 13:5-6 – 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

I know – from years of ministry – what I’m supposed to say and what I have told others – and I am hearing my words and the words of others – trying to get through to my mind and heart.  But they are merely words – however well intended – and just dwelling in the Lord is what brings me the most comfort – and knowing that others care for and love my father so much!  Facebook has been amazing for us as we read the comments that people have made about our father.

So we sit with him – waiting for that moment when he will imagine no more and see Jesus face-to-face.  We sit with him knowing that soon and very soon he will be with Jesus for the rest of eternity and will see his mom and dad and other saints that have gone before him – and – if time is no more and we all arrive together at the throne of Jesus – we will rejoice and praise His holy name together!

Thanks for all the prayers – the comments on Facebook – the calls and text messages – the offer to help – whatever is needed. Thanks for the visits and the love showered on us.  Prepare yourselves for an awesome worship service as we celebrate the life of one of God’s saints!  For now we sit and watch and pray and stand in the presence of God.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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September 18, 2012 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor | , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. My heart goes out to you and your whole family. I remember very vividly watching my dad die in January 1994. I crawled right up in the bed with him and we listened to music and prayed and read scripture. Your dad can hear you and he can feel your presence. Keep talking to him, keep praying with him. The angels will usher him home. And I know our Lord will say, “Well done thy good and faithful servant.” Be encouraged for sure, but it still hurts. It hurts.
    Love, Lyn

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    Comment by Lyn Moreland Wagner | September 18, 2012 | Reply

  2. Rev Ray – As I read your post I was in tears. You are already grieving and of course you will need more time to grieve. We only grieve because we have loved. It is normal and natural. Jesus even grieved the death of his friend. What does that tell you? Jesus, the Son of God, the one who knew how wonderful Heaven would be grieved. Allow yourself this time. One other thing I know about grief is that you are stronger than you think you are. You are worried about being strong for others and let me assure you, you are stronger than you know. Tears are not a sign of weakness, the are a sign of sadness. Dont allow yourself to confuse the two.

    As far as what will you do without your earthly Father? I too have learned since the passing of my own Dad that you will carry on in the manner he has taught you. You where guided by him for 50+ years here on Earth. Consider that a blessing for many of us have not had that much time. Your family, with the arrival of two babies soon is growing and changing. There will be days (like when those babies arrive) that you will miss him more than others, so many days will be bittersweet, but know that he will watching you all from above and that one day we will see him again. Make him proud of the man you are. Pay tribute to him by being the kind of man he was. Be the best Pastor he taught you to be. You and your family are now a part of his legacy. You all are left with the task of carrying on the values, traditions, faith and love that your Dad taught you about since you were a child. I know that he will proud of all you.

    Praying that you feel the grace and peace of the heavenly Father as you go this journey of life.

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    Comment by Pam Lowry | September 18, 2012 | Reply

  3. Ray I can’t imagine but am glad you shared so I know how to pray. I can help in any way you need me to if you just tell me. I am praying for wisdom for you and your family. ❤

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    Comment by Millie Johnson | September 18, 2012 | Reply

  4. Dear Pastor Ray, I know how you feel. I went through the same kind of anxiety when my dad was sick in the hospital and later passed away at home. I can only tell you that our Lord Jesus Christ will fill the void that you feel in your heart at this very moment and that His tender love for you and your loved ones will be shown through the love and care of all your friends and brothers and sisters in Christ who will support you at this difficult time. Praying for you, so you feel that our heavenly Father holds you in His loving arms and this pain that you fill right know is eased by His peace in Jesus Christ. Love to you and your family, The Perez Family (Mario, Sandra, Mario E. and Cesar)

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    Comment by Sandra Perez | September 18, 2012 | Reply


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