Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I Learned About God From My Dad

Five years ago this week, my father passed away. Its hard to believe its already been five years. It seems like just yesterday I remember him cracking some joke at which he laughed harder than anyone else. I can also still hear his take on what's going on in the world and how he had the answer to fix it all. Trust me, with what's going on right now, if he was here, we would never be able to keep him quiet. Somehow, I picture him strolling through the the corridors of heaven trying to give "Troy Stone" insight and suggestions to anyone who will lend him an ear. Indeed, God broke the mold when He made my Dad as I've yet to find anyone like him.

Growing up I learned a lot from him. How to bait a hook, how to throw a ball, and how to hold politicians accountable. Maybe its a bit of a reach, but somehow I think the decline in the world around us in the last five years might have something to do with the fact Troy Stone doesn't have politicians shaking in their boots anymore. I'm just saying.

Of all the things I learned from my Dad, I think the things I learned about God are the most valuable. No, my Dad didn't sit me down and teach me Bible stories and make me memorize Scripture. He taught me by how he lived his life. He was far from perfect and believe me, I wasn't blind to the imperfections. Yet, somehow along his journey, this imperfect man taught me volumes about a perfect God.

Mrs. Baird's Bread. Its the best you know. At least according to my Dad. No, other brand would do for the Stone household. Even if it was the highest priced bread on the market, you could count on it making it's way to our house. My Dad would do anything to provide his family with the best. Whether it was Sony, or Zenith, or Craftsman, or Chevy or some other brand he thought was the best. You could rest assured no brand he considered "junk" or inferior would be purchased with his hard earned money. Nope, only the best. It makes my perspective about a God who wants the best for me an easy thing to grasp. After all, if my earthly father wanted that for me, how much more does my heavenly Father desire that for me?

Scripture tells us that God can not lie. He never breaks promises. And while I'm sure my Dad told some whoppers in his day, I don't know of another person I've ever met who was better at keeping promises than my Dad. If he told you he'd do it, you could pretty much take it to the bank. Trusting someone like that becomes easy once they've established a behavioral pattern of integrity. It's the same with our heavenly Father. His unwavering faithfulness to all His promises makes trusting Him easy. Fortunately for me, I have to admit my trust and confidence in God definitely had a jump start from seeing that characteristic in my earthly Dad.

Another characteristic of God I saw in my Dad was that of refuge and protector. One time I remember we were going to a parade in our hometown. We were stuck in traffic and this man behind us gets out of his car and starts screaming profanities at the top of his lungs. My dad reacted by jumping out of his car and declaring that he had his wife and kids in the car and would appreciate it if he would cease with the profanity and get back in his car. I remember my initial response was that of embarrassment and fear of the man retaliating. But when all was said and done and the man apologized and got back in his car, I remember feeling safe. You know when you're young and you think your Dad can beat up anybody's dad? I kind of felt like that my entire life. Maybe not so much that my Dad would engage in a fist fight with everyone, but just the fact that I always knew he had my back. I just always knew that if anyone messed with me, they would have to tangle with him. It's that quality in my Dad that makes it easy for me to view a God who is indeed my Refuge and Protector. It's so easy to read a Scripture like, "If God is for me, who can be against me," and walk through life as if it were absolutely true.

I could go on and on with stories about my Dad and how they painted a picture of God for me. He was my biggest fan, he genuinely enjoyed spending time with me, and I really think he constantly saw in me, who I was even when I didn't resemble that from time to time.

I really miss him. Some days more than others. Fortunately, I'm not like some who grieve without hope. For I know that one day I will be see him again. Looking at all that's going on in the world I'm thinking that day may be fast approaching. And I'll get to hear the corny jokes. And I'll hear why old school country is the only music worth listening to. And I'll hear how he can now say without a doubt that West Virginia is indeed almost heaven. What a character! If you knew him, you can certainly relate. If you didn't, trust me, when you get to heaven he'll be easy to find. He'll be the one eating a sandwich composed of a couple slices of tomatoes between two pieces of Mrs. Baird's Bread. Be prepared though, he'll try to convince you that you haven't eaten until you've tried one.

1 comment:

  1. Aww Tim is was really sweet..I loved reading this ...Otish