“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the Truth.” 3 John 4.
A father’s delight rests in his heart
throughout his lifetime, as well as yours.
My thoughts and comments today are about, “a family legacy.”
Some time ago, I came across a yellowed note my Mom had written years earlier. As I read her words, I was unprepared for my emotional response. Her words leaped from the page into my heart, “Your Dad would be so proud of you, as I am.” You see my Dad died in a highway accident when I was just 21, newly married, and a senior in college, and yet now in my early seventies my eyes become moist as I read those words. Somehow even now, those words of his pride stir something deep within my heart.
I was not prepared for how such a simple statement of my Dad’s and Mom’s feelings about me, written on a piece of yellowed stationary, would still mean so much to me after all of these years since his death and more recently hers. Solomon wisely observed, “The father of the righteous has great joy; he who has a wise child delights in them.” Proverbs 23:24 NIV. I am not sure I always live up to Solomon’s words, but I am grateful that my Dad felt I did. That I could give my parents delight after all they had given me was and is my greatest joy.
I was struck by the realization that a father’s delight rests in his heart throughout his lifetime, and continues throughout yours. Being reminded of my Dad’s love and pride means as much at this stage of my life as it did when he was alive and I was young. But I am sure that though he would commend whatever accomplishments with which God has graced my life, he would be most proud that our family continues his legacy of faith that I learned at his knee and from his pulpit. He was my pastor, as well as my Dad.
Imagine how Jesus felt at the Jordan River when the voice of God was heard from Heaven, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17 NKJV. Reading those words, you can feel the Father’s pride – His bursting joy and delight – and know the moral and spiritual strengthening that Jesus experienced as He set out to do the Father’s will. It would yet be three and a half years before Jesus would say, “I have finished the work that You gave Me to do,” and before He would hang on a cross and confidently declare to the Father, “It is finished.“ On that cross, yours and my Redeemer died for the forgiveness of our sins.
Now as a Dad, grandfather, and great grandfather, I know what delight feels like. When I see the good and Godly man, husband, and dad our son has become, and the Godly woman, wife, and mom our daughter has become, and adult grandchildren who love and live for Jesus, Gayle and I are grateful for God’s grace to the Randolph family. Joy and delight hardly describe the satisfaction that Gayle and I find in knowing our children and their spouses, as well as our grandchildren, are committed to walking in righteousness and Godly wisdom.
John’s words would be mine as well, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the Truth.” 3 John 4 NKJV. Whatever you achieve in life is secondary to the knowledge that you have embraced faith, and your Godly legacy abides in your family.
Today, I pray for you to live wisely that the Father may delight in you.
Christian Communications 2016-6199