It’s been a decade since he took his last breath on this earth and I still miss him. Especially during college football season as I’m frantically cheering on my Ohio State Buckeyes (with apologies to all my friends in that state up north!)
My dad was an incredible multi-sport athlete, as well as a successful football and basketball coach as I was growing up. My love of athletics and knowledge of the rules and intricacies of each sport came from him.
And that’s why I always had to call him during halftime of a Buckeye game if I was feeling nervous about the possible outcome.
“Dad, I’m worried we’re going to lose,” I would spit out as soon as he answered the phone.
He always responded with a little chuckle and then began pointing out all the things that were going well for my guys, as well as all the specific reasons they were the better team. Then he would reassure me that the coach would make the necessary halftime adjustments to clear up the deficiencies so the Scarlet and Gray would prevail.
“You’re gonna be okay,” he would add.
He was so smart, knew football so well and understood coaching so clearly that I always believed him.
A loving father’s voice can have that kind of calming effect, can’t it?
I just spent the month of August finding ways to better hear my heavenly Father’s voice. I needed His soothing words so my anxieties could be relieved, my burdens lightened and my heart palpitations literally calmed down.
And guess what?
I heard Him. Usually as I read my Bible. Often as I pored over my devotionals. Sometimes as I lifted my voice in song. And occasionally in my head as I folded my hands in prayer. Each time, it was clear that He was speaking to me.
“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:4)
“The LORD’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor his ear too deaf to hear you call.” (Isaiah 59:1)
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
And so many wise words from authors I love:
“Joy does not comes from getting what you ask God for. Joy comes in asking, believing, and thanking God, however he answers.” (Max Lucado)
“Can you think of any need you have that would require more strength than God exercised to raise the dead?” (Beth Moore)
“Father, may the reality of what you say become infinitely more real to me than what I think, feel or experience.” (Chris Tiegreen)
“Sin is the act of going to everyone but God for what only God can give.” (Max Lucado)
My earthly father had a special way of having just the right words to calm me (even though he might have led me astray at halftime of this past Saturday’s game against Oregon!), but my Heavenly Father never gets it wrong. He is all-wise, knows me completely and understands the loving plans He has for me. I always need to believe Him.
I encourage you to find ways to better listen for your Father’s voice–you won’t be disappointed.
Perhaps this prayer from Chris Tiegreen can be yours as well as mine: “Father, my mind cannot afford to be preoccupied with anything other than you.” Amen.
Be sure to open in your browser to hear the beautiful song “You’re Gonna Be Okay” by Brian and Jenn Johnson.