God as a Father
A Miracle Leads to a Transfer of Trust
I walked into the kitchen and found mama crying at the table. Her face was cupped in her hands.
“What’s the matter, mama?”
She glanced at me, then stared out the window, “What are we supposed to do? We have no more food. Why doesn’t your father care enough to take any job to feed us? He could be a gas station attendant, anything, at least something.”
My father got laid off from General Dynamics. Political winds had shifted with Kennedy’s assassination and the secret program he was working on was shut down. Jobs of this sort were hard to find. There was a lot of competition with others who had been laid off.
I looked through the open pantry doors behind her. It was usually stocked full of food. It was empty. I opened the refrigerator door. There was a quart of milk and a couple of small containers. It used to be full.
I put my hand on mama’s shoulder. My eleven-year-old mind went to work. What could we do? We had no food, but daddy drove a Lincoln Continental!
“Why doesn’t he sell the car, Mama! He could get a cheaper car. Then we’d have money for food.”
She stared out the window as tears trickled down her face. “He said he can’t. He said he has to keep the car, because it fits his image.”
“Why don’t we ask someone for help?”
“No! We can’t do that! Don’t you tell anyone. Do you understand? Daddy said that no one is to know.”
There was a look of panic in her eyes that I’d never seen before.
“Okay, Mama. I won’t tell.”
She cupped her face in her hands again and cried softly.
“Don’t cry, Mama. Don’t cry.” I patted her back.
Why didn’t he care for us enough to provide for us? That’s what fathers do—love and provide. But he had always been so distant, so angry. This just confirmed my suspicion. He didn’t love me.
Late that night there was a knock. I could see the surprise and alarm on my parents’ faces. No one would knock this late unless there was something wrong. Dad and Mom, both, answered the door. It was Mr. Pancoast, an elder from our church.
“Are you folks, okay?” Mr. Pancoast asked them.
Dad and Mom looked at each other with raised eyebrows as if to ask silently, “Did you tell?”
Seeing their faces he went on without waiting for an answer, “While I was praying tonight, an angel appeared. He told me to empty my freezer and bring you this food.” He motioned to two large cardboard boxes behind him. They were filled full, almost overflowing.
At that moment, I transferred my trust from my earthly father to my heavenly Father. Maybe my father didn’t care enough to provide for me, but my heavenly Father did.
Soon after, Daddy abandoned us. Though our income dropped below poverty level for many years, I never lacked what I needed. I’d pray, “God, my earthly father won’t provide for me. But I know you love me, so I’m asking you…” God even provided temporary earthly father figures when I asked.
God is a faithful Father and Provider. He never fails or forsakes us. I am so grateful to Him for His love.
The blessings I received from reading, hearing and heeding
the book of Revelations CH 1
Vs 3. God promises a blessing if I read Revelations, take it to heart and apply it to my life. Yahoo! I want God’s blessing … Come Lord Jesus!
Jesus 5 “loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—“
Praise God! I no longer live in bondage to sin because He loved me and shed His blood for me!
6”and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father”
He has lifted me from my unclean condition and give me a position of honor that brings me into intimate relationship with Him and grants me the privilege of sharing His love and call to reconciliation with others. Amazing …
8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
The Creator, the Alpha (beginning) of all that exists, from the beginning planned my salvation and completed that work as the Omega (the end), yet He is the beginning of a new heavens and the earth in which I shall dwell. He is the end of the search for fulfillment and joy in life.
9-20 John’s vision
God cares enough to communicate with His churches. He does not leave me alone (lonely) but guides, encourages and disciplines me and my fellow believers to draw close to Him.
Jesus appears to John in His glory as God. John is literally scared to death. Jesus is not recognizable as the humble man whom John knew as His friend and teacher on earth. Jesus is so glorious and so much greater than us that His presence invokes fear , so He comforts His disciple and friend John, just as He will comfort me at His appearing;
17a“Do not be afraid; ”
then identifies Himself as God through His glorious appearance like the vision of that Daniel the prophet saw. Compare:
13I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.
14His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.
The Ancient of Days Reigns
(I had fun comparing the visions in Daniel 7 & 10 with this, also.)
17b“I am the first and the last,
18aand the living One;
then identifies Himself as the man Jesus,
18b” and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore,”
There is no doubt, this is Jesus. God the Father and Holy Spirit never “died” a physical death, only Jesus did.
18c “I am alive forevermore, and I have (BO)the keys of death and of Hades.
Praise God, I do not have to fear death. The devil does not hold me in his power through the fear of death, because Jesus has the keys to release me from death and Hades. I will be with Him in Paradise forever!
What is Hades? Here’s the short answer that I found, with a link to the long version, and link to How to avoid hell—the message of salvation in Jesus Christ:
“Sheol (Hebrew) and Hades (Greek) are the temporary place of torment for the souls of the wicked dead. Prior to Christ’s resurrection, saints were kept and comforted in the now vacant half of Hades, known as Abraham’s Bosom. Gehenna (Greek, but from a Hebrew name) is the Lake of Fire for the permanent place of torment of the souls of the wicked dead in their resurrected bodies. Hell is a rather general and inadequate term that is often used to refer to either Gehenna or the torment side of Hades, both by those who know the basic difference between these two specific places and by those who do not.
Peppermint Oil for Heat Relief.
Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a spray bottle of water. Spritz yourself with this blend. Peppermint oil helps open your pores.The evaporation of the oil along with the water will refresh you. However, the cooling effect of the peppermint oil continues after the water has evaporated.
As I sat in the Intensive Care Waiting room, I recalled how yesterday, Sunday, God had brought to mind His faithful provision through each season of my life. He’d been reminding of these miracles all summer long, one at a time. Then He gave me a rapid-fire recap of His miraculous provisions throughout my life. It was a precious experience, but it kind of reminded me of a review before a final exam. I had said to Him, Lord, I could write a book on the theme of your faithful provision through every season of life, at least a series of articles, except there might be some who would question my assertion of your faithfulness through widowhood, since I have not faced that yet.
When He had finished this grand review, He told me, “Keep your eyes on me. I always have been and always will be your faithful provider.”
I had replied, “Okay, Lord. I can do that.” But why He did He give me this wonderful gift of remembrance?
Now on Monday, I spoke to God, So is this why you brought to my remembrance your faithful provision? Okay. My husband is not my provider. You are my Provider Lord. I will keep my eyes on you.
I anchored my thoughts on this and God’s wisdom and love. God you are in control. You know what’s best. I want my husband to live. But God, what will give you most glory? Let your will be done.
My pastor, Jerry Sloan, arrived at the ICU waiting room. We prayed and asked for God’s grace, peace and strength.
“Lindy Swanson?” a man asked, as he entered the room. I nodded to him. He looked like a pleasant man, but was somber-faced. He pulled up a chair. “I’m the hospital Chaplin. Your husband is in very serious condition.” He paused.
“Yes,” I acknowledged.
“He has the best cardiac surgeon in the state. They’re racing to figure out what’s wrong and how to help him.”
“Did you hear them call CODE over the speaker system? That was for your husband.”
This is the warm-up act for more bad news. They sent him ahead to soften the blow. This has become something more than a simple stent surgery. I looked at him, not answering, while trying to recall if I’d heard that. I hadn’t heard anything. But then I’d not been in the waiting room the whole time. I shook my head, no.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m fine.”
He looked at me quizzically, then at my Pastor, as though for reassurance that I was fine.
Pastor Sloan nodded yes.
I don’t think he expected me to be fine. I don’t think he knows how to read my calmness. But God, I trust you’re in control.
“Okay. Call me if you need me. Here’s my card. My office is downstairs.”
He left cordially, but as soberly as he had walked in.
A doctor walked in. He looked like a cupie doll. His eye glasses looked odd. The wire rim dipped under the lens, not above it. The lens was flat on the bottom, but curved over the top of his eyelids. If it weren’t for the nose-rim shaped to fit the bridge of his nose in this position, I would have been sure he had put them on upside down in his haste. I managed not to laugh but thought, Okay God. He’s the comic relief, before the punch line.
The doctor repeated the Chaplin’s message, “Your husband’s in very serious condition. We’re preparing to take him into surgery. The surgical doctors will be coming to answer any questions you have in just a moment.”
The surgical doctors walked into the room, without smiles, and introduced themselves. “We’re taking your husband into surgery now. His condition is very serious. Do you have any questions?”
“What am I preparing for, in terms of recovery? How long will he be in the hospital? How long will he be off work?”
The doctors just looked at me, shook their heads no, shrugged their shoulders, lifted and rotated their hands slightly to indicate there was no way to know.
“Well, isn’t there a typical timeline?”
“Seven days in the hospital, but ….” The doctor didn’t finish his sentence. The doctors watched me intently, expecting … something.
Did they expect me to break down and cry at this point? Is that how most people respond. God, how do people go through this without your presence to comfort them? I’m so grateful for your presence with us now … So this isn’t a typical case. They don’t expect him to survive. God, I trust you with Keith’s life and mine.
After what seemed to be an awkward pause, on their part, one spoke, “We’ll be bringing your husband through those doors in just a few minutes. You’ll have a moment to speak to him. Then we’ll take him through those doors into surgery.” They excused themselves and left the room.
My mom arrived with my kids, Amy and Sean, after the doctors left. I explained the situation to them. Pastor shared pieces of information with them that I had not covered. We prayed together that God would give the doctors wisdom to know what to do. Then the double doors opened and out rolled Keith on the gurney with his entourage of attendants.
He looked physically uncomfortable, but managed a smile when he saw us. I squeezed his hand, said, “I love you. We’re praying for you.”
He squeezed back and nodded, as though to say, “I love you, too.”
The kids said a few quick words to Daddy. Amy and Granny fought back tears, and then he was gone through the doors.
We waited for an attendant to bring forms to be filled out. When that was done I asked, “Will I be needed for anything more? Do I need to sign any more consents to treat Keith or use life-saving measures?”
“No. Surgery will start within a half hour. Then they’ll be in surgery for four hours or so. When he comes out, he’ll be under heavy sedation for the whole first day.”
“So even if I come early, he won’t know whether or not I’m there?”
“No, he’ll be pretty much out the entire first day.”
So, there was nothing more to do here, I looked around at Mom, Sean, Amy, Pastor, looked at the clock, 11:30 p.m. They won’t be out of surgery ‘til 4 a.m. I reasoned God is everywhere. Distance makes no difference in God’s ability to answer prayer. He is intimately close and able to care for Keith with or without my immediate presence at the hospital. “I think the best thing to do now, is to go home and get some sleep. We’re going to need our strength in the days ahead.”
Pastor and the kids agreed. Even though my mom had brought enough small blankets for everyone, we went home to wait for the news.