Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: THE WHOLE WORLD IN GOD’S HANDS (not the song) (05/28/15)
- TITLE: Dad's Preaching Bible
By Brenda Rice
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Mom and I were alone after Dad passed. My older brothers were in college. We talked about Dad often. “Levi, do you remember having breakfast at the café with your dad on Saturdays?” Mom asked as she turned from the stove where she was cooking.
“That’s one of my favorite memories. He told me Saturday was your day off.”
Mom chuckled. “Is that what he said? Well, he just wanted you all to himself.”
“I can see us strolling down Main Street hand in hand. I tried to match him stride for stride, but his legs were too long.” Mom’s eyes had a far-away look as she smiled and patted my cheek.
What I didn’t tell her was how I fantasized about standing in the pulpit delivering a message like my dad. I imitated him by holding my Bible against my chest with my left hand. I visualized Dad’s large hand veins raised as he pressed it against his black preaching Bible.
Something about Dad’s hands stayed with me long after he died. I often thought how kind his hands were to so many. Whether he was shaking hands or patting someone’s back or folding his hands to pray, Dad’s hands symbolized strength and caring to me.
Some of Dad’s frequent comments to people who were questioning their circumstances or trying to understand their sufferings were, “Everything is in God’s hands. He had a plan before the world was formed. Trust Him. He will see you through.”
Echoes of Dad’s strong voice fill my head when I think about him preaching or teaching or simply sharing his values with me. Although I was only ten when he passed, his words have stayed with me.
The year I graduated high school, Mom gave me Dad’s last preaching Bible. She had already given the older boys some of Dad’s Bibles, but she saved the last one for me. Mom said, “Levi, your dad wanted you to have this before you go off the college. He asked me to give it to you if he were no longer here.”
As I took the big Bible from my mother’s hands, I wept. Even back then, Dad was planning for me to have something of his that he knew would mean so much. His Bible fell open to Psalms 95. There was a folded piece of paper marking the page. When I opened it, I found a letter my dad had written me a few weeks before he died in his sleep.
When you were born, God impressed on my heart that you would be a good man, soft-hearted and compassionate. He also said you would be a seeker.
Since you were given to us later in our lives, I felt I had no time to waste teaching you all I could about the Lord’s ways. Somehow I always felt our earthly time together would be short. If you are reading this, I was right.
As you face a new and challenging chapter in your life, I want to reassure you that God will be with you wherever you decide to attend college. Academia will offer you new ideas and some old theories about our world. Do not be intimidated by professors who explain away God’s word. They may believe some cosmic energy explosion resulted in the world and life as we know it, but I encourage you to let God’s word be the final authority.
In the book of Psalms chapter 95 verses 4 through 6 the Bible clearly says God’s hands hold the dry land, the high mountains and the seas. Genesis chapter one tells the complete story of creation ending when He created man in His own image. God’s hands hold the earth, the sun and the moon in orbit, as well as all the other planets in the universe. How anyone can believe all these marvelous things just happened is beyond me.
Son, be strong and be faithful to the Lord. He will hold you in the palm of His hand and keep you all the days of your life. When you think of me remember, I love you with all my heart.
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