God is not ashamed to be called their God.~Hebrews 11:16b NKJV
My father was fifty years old when I was born, and I was a daddy’s girl.
Daddy held me on his lap when the doctor gave my vaccines with a gun-like device that left a scar the size of a dime on my upper arm. He taught me to ride my bike. He made me and my siblings homemade donuts before leaving for work as an executive chef. He and my mom had just bought a big farm for us to grow our own food and work the land.
But circumstances changed and that collapsed that dream…
After my sixth birthday, Dad suffered a massive stroke which left him paralyzed on his right side. Because of this event, even at six-years-old, I knew my life would be different. Everything seemed to change.
Dad’s personality and body were different—and he felt broken. He was unable to do most of the things he used to do. My mom and I and my five sisters did all the work. My dad sat on the porch watching us cut the grass fearing we would get hurt. When we complained he would say, “I know, I wish I could do it.” I now understand how much it hurt him to watch his daughters do “his” work. At first, he struggled with feelings of uselessness, which led to severe depression but he overcame.
Dad may not have been able to achieve the physical and financial dreams he desired, but his faith became stronger because of these difficulties, so much that his unapologetic became his gift to us.
Faith framed Dad’s life. He prayed for us constantly. My dad prayed for strength and comfort for Mom, who, by default, had to work long hours to support the family. Dad prayed for each of us girls to know God as he did. He valued our salvation most. Every day, he read the Bible to us at dinner, and at bedtime he prayed over us, placing his hand on our heads as we knelt by his easy chair.
My dad may have felt useless in his body, but his spirit was full of the life that comes from the Son of God. He did not realize the influence he had on his six daughters. Even from his wheelchair, he spoke life over us and planted seeds for an eternal purpose. We may never know on this side of heaven the impact we have on others. But God does. He died one month after I married, and I am thankful God allowed him to “walk” me down the aisle.
In Hebrews 11, the author shares how the faith of many Old Testament saints influenced those around them. Like my father, these men and women were righteous in God’s sight because of their great faith and obedience in times of trials and persecution. They even suffered mocking, persecution, and imprisonment, and yet their faith remained steadfast. Hebrews 11:38 states that they were people, “of whom the world was not worthy.” They lived and died for their God.
These all died in faith, not receiving the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.~Hebrews 11:13 ESV
A few verses later, the author writes, “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Hebrews 11:16b NKJV). This verse is in the present tense. Why? Because God was not ashamed then, and He is unashamed now to be their God.
God is not ashamed to be your God, either.
No matter how we see ourselves, or how useless we may feel in our jobs, or as a stay-at-home mom, or how many times we have messed up and felt as though we have let God and others down; if you belong to God, He is not ashamed of you and He takes you as His child.
If you do not have someone who models immovable faith in your family, then be that person to a family member. Your eternal reward is priceless.
Heavenly Father, Thank You that You are not ashamed to be my God. Thank You for being a loving Father and for giving Your Son, Jesus Christ, to give me life. I am Yours for eternity.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2020: “Daddy’s Girl”: Stephanie Pavlantos: All Rights Reserved