Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Son I Never Anticipated and The Father He Never Had

With Father’s Day coming up, devotionals this week will be all about dads.  Included are some personal accounts from some of our staff.  Their thoughts are honest reflections on fatherhood with the struggles, strengths and weaknesses of real-life dads.  Enjoy. 

Submitted by Donnie O’Fallon
Jeremiah  29:11, “ I know the plans that I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you a hope and a future"

The Son I Never Anticipated and The Father He Never Had “
This Father’s Day is different for me from all previous. Since our son Keith’s death last August, I seem to view everything through different lenses. I look at things from another perspective. God’s teaching me to view all things from His perspective; through the lenses of His grace and faith. For you see, God’s the God of a “second chance.”  While it is true that we all are a product of our environment and or past, it is also true that Gods Love, His grace and His mercy cuts right through our history, our past, and puts us in the present. It’s called the present because it’s a gift. So knowing and understanding that, what are you doing with that truth?

As an older child, I knew my Great-Grandfather O’Fallon, “Poppa John.” He was a hard and harsh man. Likewise the same was true of my Grandfather O’Fallon. My dad was taught no differently. He was never shown or told anything of God’s love and grace and of the power of Jesus to change and transform someone’s life and circumstances. I then came along and I was given much the same instructions from my dad. But then the cycle was broken! God’s love and grace broke through to my life at age 25 when I accepted Christ. The power of “the sins of the fathers” was broken by His grace.
Then we had a son and named him Keith. As a dad concerned for a son, I began to try and teach my son the ways of the Lord and what a difference Jesus could make in his life. He did accept Christ as a teen but was tormented emotionally due to mental health issues for most his life.

Eventually Keith married and had a son, my grandson, Adam.  Adam is “the son I never anticipated” and I am “the father he never had.”  God’s grace gave us Jesus, the Son we never anticipated and he has given to us the Father we could never have had. God’s grace has put us together.

So what do I do with my part of this “Second Chance“; the Present/the gift, the Heavenly Father has given to me? I must LEAD by example through my life relationships; to Jesus, to Adam, His Nana and to others. I must TEACH him, “The Lord’s loving-kindness indeed never ceases, for His compassions never fail. His mercies are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  (Lamentations 3:22-23) It’s imperative that I teach this son to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Adam needs to see in me a godly character, a father’s heart for his best, and a love for his Nana so he will have a proper model. He must receive affirming encouragement, manhood instructions of what’s right and wrong and basic life skills, how to treat young ladies, choosing friends, the importance of education and the challenges of college, the value of work and life, receiving Jesus into his life daily and how to follow Him in obedience and service.  There has to be a conveyance of spiritual truths during those teachable God moments, those one-on-one times of what it means to be a man of integrity and character.

Finally he has to hear regularly “I love you, I’m proud of you, and you’re good at…” so he can attain confidence and courage to move forward.

PRAYER: “Father draw me to walk close to you daily and teach me from your Word and by your Spirit, that I may teach him to walk in your will, your way and your grace. Lord, he’s the son I never anticipated and I desire to be the best father he never had because of your grace. I ask that you bless each of the generations that follow us because we’ve been “faithful vessels unto honor.” Amen! 

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