“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and
those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel
12:3.(NKJV) This verse from Daniel jumped off the page and caught my attention
as I read my assigned passage from Read Through the Bible in a Year on
December 15th. I had an eerie feeling and scrounged through my antique cupboard
of family papers. Somehow, my dad’s funeral seemed connected to this
Sure enough, Pastor Liddick had given me the script of my father’s funeral
service, held December 15th, 1995. Reading through the pastor’s sermon, I was
astounded to find that he had built his entire message around this passage from the
book of Daniel.
My dad had been a sixth grade teacher for 34 years. In that time, he had touched
the lives of many young people. I can remember walking with him around town and
feeling like a celebrity as kids shouted out their greetings. If you asked students
from our small town in the years of 1953-1987 who their favorite teacher was,
invariably they’d say my dad, Harley Miller. The pastor honored my father for this
dedication to teaching the youth of Sturgis. Though a very sad occasion, his funeral
was also a celebration of his life and ministry to others.
Supernaturally, God had orchestrated a very special anniversary present. On
December 15th, 1999, the very foundational verse of my father’s funeral service
had appeared in my Bible reading schedule for that very day.
I liked imagining all the strings God pulled to make this happen. Pastor Liddick
was led to use this passage and then give me a copy of his sermon. (He never gave
me my mom’s funeral sermon from two years earlier.) This particular reading
schedule came into my possession, and I was actually on time and not playing catch
up. Most importantly, The Holy Spirit reminded me of the significance of this verse
as I read Daniel 12 on that special anniversary date.
A few months later, I finally called Pastor Liddick who had moved to another
state. He was overwhelmed when I shared this strange “coincidence”. In my heart
of hearts, I knew that God had planned it all for me so that I would have joy, in the
midst of sadness, on the anniversary of my dad’s funeral.
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