Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Parent (11/16/06)
TITLE: My Fathers' Love
By RuthAnn Cornelson
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Some weeks after our initial conversation Dad and Mom asked me again what I’d like to have for my birthday. I replied, “A hope chest”. Over the next weeks they continued to ask and my answer was always the same. Why do they keep on asking? I know hope chests are expensive, but that is what I want. My dad works two jobs - teaching Junior High and selling shoes at Penneys. My mom works full time and takes care of the home and us four kids. I felt guilty as I thought about it. A day came when my parents sat down with me, their eyes sad, their tone serious, “Ruth, we would love to give you a hope chest, but we have looked everywhere and they are just too expensive. Is there anything else you would like?” My hopes died; it was a hopeless chest after all.
My day arrived. Mom made a special dinner and a cake. As we were finishing the cake, I heard Dad calling me from the other room and got up to go to him. The rest of the family followed. I walked into the room and there was my father, standing beside the most beautiful hope chest I had ever seen. I was stunned! He was beaming, as was my mom, now standing beside him. I didn’t understand. What? How? I went to it; to them. “I made it for you,” Dad said. He opened the tapestry covered lid and the lovely smell of cedar wafted out to us. He showed me all the detailing, telling me how Mom had worked with him to choose the colors and decorations. It was amazing! I hugged them so hard, tears in my eyes.
Later my father told me that often he would lie awake at night thinking and thinking, “How can we get a hope chest for Ruth? And then one night it hit me,” he said, “I’ll build her one.” He got up early every day to go to the school where he taught and use the wood shop there. If he wasn’t working at Penney’s on the weekend, he gave up his time to go to the school and work on it some more. He loves me so much.
I have often thought how my father’s love for me, demonstrated by his determination to give me a hope chest, is an example of my Heavenly Father’s love for me. Dad longed to give me the thing I desired most. God longs to give us what we desire, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4(NIV) If we desire something that is not going to hurt us, that is good for us, and yes, that will even just make us happy, God wants to do it for us. Jesus said, “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9(NLT) I kept on asking my father for a hope chest and because of his love for me he was moved by my request and longed to find a way to give it to me. God is moved when we ask Him for what we desire because He loves us in that same way, and when our desires are aligned with His will, He longs to fulfill them for us. He doesn’t always because He knows what is best, but ASK HIM!
Jesus said, "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?”(Matt.7:9,10NIV) My father could not rest at giving me something other than what I had asked for if he could possibly give me that thing. Jesus said, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11NIV)
As I look at my beautiful hope chest, I think of my Fathers’ great love for me.
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