One of the gifts Dad has given our family is a killer dad joke repertoire. He has about six jokes he cycles through. Here are a couple golden examples:
Q. Why shouldn’t you play water polo with dolphins?
A. You might defeat the porpoise.
Q. Have you heard the weather forecast for Mexico?
A. Chili today and hot tamale.
I had a friend in the army named Harry. His last name was Beard.
(Dad insists this was a real person.)
At the first hint one of these jokes is coming, members of our family will give each other a knowing look, eyes will roll, and guests are warned.
Dad has a similar routine when he receives a Word from the Lord. A family dinner rarely goes by without Dad sharing something God has been teaching him. As Dad continues to delight in a particular phrase or verse we often hear it repeated again and again. Through the years this repetition was often met with exasperated “can we eat now?” whines from the pack of teenagers at his dinner table. The older I get the more I see how deeply these moments have rooted our family in the love of Christ.
I was sitting in my living room the other day, wrestling with emotions related to my current job transition and as true as he was sitting next to me, “Sara, surely goodness is CHASING you,” came from my Dad’s mouth. This was one of the Words he received from Psalm 23:6 that was repeated to me often. This repetition had rooted me in Love.
When Dad shares these Words, he doesn’t preach them – they overflow from his heart – a heart of joy, a heart met by God, a heart that longs for his family to know the supremacy of Christ. His words are thick with emotion, frequently accompanied by a tear or two, or ten.
Ask anyone in my family and they will tell you several other Words that my Dad repeats often, through tears:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44
“For the joy that was set before him, Jesus endured the cross.” Hebrews 12:2
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13
No matter the faith journey my siblings and I have taken these Words have left us without a doubt in the existence and goodness of God. Try as we may, we cannot shake their grip. They have been engraved on our hearts. These Words hold the promise that “all your children will be taught by the Lord and great shall be the peace of your children,” (Isaiah 54:13) which was another verse my parents prophesied over us as we grew.
To any parents who are wondering if God hears your prayers for your children – have you told your children your prayers for them? Have you spoken them as often at the dinner table as in your prayer closet? Have you shared what God has been teaching you, His child? As hard as they may roll their eyes, the Words of God will not leave their hearts. Your words will reap the blessing of God.
“So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; it will not return to Me void without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
Thanks, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.