Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Yours Forever, Because of Him

     In the movie, A River Runs Through It, there is a scene where two adult brothers go fly-fishing with their preacher father. The younger son, whose life is spiraling downward in gambling and drink, catches a magnificent trout because of his masterful technique with the fly rod. The older son snaps a photo of his brother smiling and holding the great fish, as the narration (done by the older son) continues… “It was like a work of art. I knew I was looking at perfection. But life is not art. And I knew the moment could not last.” The story continues with the younger son rejecting the help of all those who loved him until his life is forfeited through his excesses. The movie closes with the remaining son, now an old man, fishing once again in the same river and thinking back on all the things that couldn’t last. The river was a symbol of the relentless onward march of time and the impossibility of retrieving even a single moment of the past.   

   That scene set me to thinking. I thought about the innocence of youth and how it could not last in a world like ours, cursed as it is by human sin. I thought about the fervor of young love and what time would do to it. I thought about physical vigor and how the years sap our strength. I thought about mental powers and how, even at my tender age, I am so forgetful. I even thought about my old hometown…how much has changed that cannot be recalled. I cannot go back and roam the places where once I ran, played and climbed freely as a child. The woods are gone now…houses have been built there. The people I knew are long gone out into the world or out of the world. I thought of early married life and my babies in my arms and on my back, but they are grown now and living many miles from us. So many moments…so many things that could not last.  

   Then I thought, what we really need is something that lasts. Thank God that through Jesus Christ we have it. Things don’t last, but redeemed people do. The outward person doesn’t last for we waste away physically, but the inward person created anew by Jesus Christ does last. Suffering doesn’t last…even severe suffering…long-term suffering…doesn’t last forever for God’s beloved, but glory is eternal. Doubts don’t last, but faith does. Painful memories don’t last forever, for earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. What we see doesn’t last, but hope lasts. Hatred doesn’t last, but love does. Sin  doesn’t  last,  but  mercy   and grace abide forever. Life isn’t art, it’s true! But life in Christ is unending art. As God’s redeemed people, “You are God’s workmanship, and you will last because of Him!”

   F. W. Faber said this, “Eternity will not be long enough to learn all He is, or to praise Him for all He has done; but then, that matters not, for we shall always be with Him, and we desire nothing more.”

   Permit me one more quote, for it perfectly expresses my heart towards you. This one is by William Cowper as he wrote to a beloved cousin. “There is not room enough for friendship to unfold itself in full bloom in such a nook of a life as this. Therefore I am, and must, and will be, yours forever.”

   I love that…I love you…and, my, how we love our Father God Who made all the good stuff possible!

                                                     

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4 thoughts on “Yours Forever, Because of Him

  1. Beautiful writing, dad. And a great promise. As a father myself now…I find the days are already passing too quickly. I would love to hold back the rushing waters…yet I know…even if it were possible…it would not be best b/c it would keep my mind centered on the illusion that this life is what holds our Hope…when there is so much greater delight to be had in the life to come (that is only partially present now).

    Remi was given the movie 101 Dalmatians by her grandma last night. We gave her the dvd case and she spent the next 30 minutes or so in utter delight, holding the case up to her face and laughing hysterically the whole time. It was a full-out belly laugh at something that only a child could find amusing. Our lost innocence could not comprehend her laughter…but it was a pure glimpse of heaven for me. I want to live in that moment forever…your post reminds me that the way to do that is not to hold back the sands of time, but to pray for the fulfillment of the only promise of God’s that has not yet been realized…Maranatha!

    I CAN JUST SEE OUR PRECIOUS REMI LAUGHING OUT LOUD OVER THAT SIMPLE PLASTIC DVD COVER. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION…JOT SOME THINGS DOWN WHEN YOU CAN…BECAUSE THE BEST CLASS OF ALL IS IN SESSION…IT IS WONDERFULLY INTERACTIVE…IT ENGAGES YOUR WHOLE BEING…IT LIFTS YOU TO UNIMAGINABLE HEIGHTS…IT LEAVES YOU NO CHOICE BUT TO WORSHIP…AND WHEN IT IS ALL GOOD, LIKE RIGHT NOW…AND WHEN YOUR HEART IS SO FULL YOU CAN’T IMAGINE CONTAINING MORE JOY…REMEMBER WHO GAVE THIS MOMENT TO YOU…THIS PRECIOUS DAUGHTER TO YOU AND KELLY…AND THAT HE HAS EVEN MORE IN STORE FOR YOU…FOR REMI…FOR US ALL. IT’S ALL GOOD! I LOVE YOU, SON. I LOVE YOUR JOY OVER YOUR DAUGHTER…YOUR JOY OVER FATHER GOD.

  2. There are parts of my life that I wish I could slow down … mostly it has to do with relationships that I’ve had (or have) that I wish could just freeze in time. I want to be able to protect them from the sands of time. The time that can separate us, hurt us, take us to other places … away from each other. But if I stopped time to avoid all the sorrowful things that might happen, I also stop the growth … the learning … the joy of seeing that friendship stand through tough times as well as peaceful.

    I look at my relationship with God. If it wasn’t touched by time then I would not be able to experience all the facets that are my Father. I have experienced Him through many seasons of my life … good and bad. I have learned about mercy and grace … but only because I messed up. I’ve learned about his unlimited patience and love … but only because I tested them. I’ve learned about His faithfulness … but only because I’ve fought His hold on me … and found He would not let go.

    The One and only constant in my life is God. “The essence of life is me and God.” He is the one thing that lasts … forever. The more time passes the closer I get to eternity with Him … come, Lord, come. I can’t wait to meet Him … to see Him running toward me. I will have an eternity to learn about all the facets that are my Father.

    WELL SAID, PAIGE. INHERENT IN “RELATIONSHIP” IS TIME TOGETHER. WE ARE HIGHLY COMPLIMENTED WHEN SOMEONE WE RESPECT IS INTERESTED IN SPENDING TIME WITH US. WE ARE AFFIRMED BY SUCH TIME TOGETHER. AN OBJECTIVE OUTSIDER OBSERVING OUR RELATIONSHIP WOULD BE ABLE TO SEE…WHAT WE REALLY CAN’T SEE OR DON’T CARE TO SEE…THAT THERE ARE COSTS INVOLVED IN RELATIONSHIP. BUT THE FULFILLING NATURE OF THE RELATIONSHIP MAKES US UNWILLING TO COUNT OR RECORD THE COSTS. THE REWARDS THAT COME TO US…NOT BECAUSE WE INSISTED ON THEM, BUT JUST IN THE NATURE OF LOVING RELATIONSHIP…THE REWARDS ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN WORTH IT. WE JUST CAN’T ASSUME THE ACCOUNTANT MENTALITY.
    YOU HAVE OUTLINED WELL WHAT WE GET OUT OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FATHER GOD…MERCY, GRACE, PATIENCE, LOVE, FAITHFULNESS, AND SECURITY. CAN IT BE THAT FATHER GOD GETS SOMETHING OUT OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM? CAN IT REALLY BE SO? DARE WE THINK IT? ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING WHO AND WHAT WE ARE? YES! AS AMAZING AS IT SOUNDS, HE GETS SOMETHING OUT OF OUR RELATIONSHIP TOO. WHEN WE LOOK TO HIM IN TRUST…WHEN WE DO A THING SIMPLY AND ONLY BECAUSE HE SAID SO…WHEN WE ARE ABLE TO RELAX AND LET HIM LOVE US…WHEN WE LOOK AT HIM THROUGH TEARS OF REPENTANCE…WHEN WE WHISPER IT, SAY IT OUT LOUD OR SING IT OUT PROUD AND STRONG, THAT WE LOVE HIM…WHEN WE FAIL AGAIN, BUT WON’T JUST LIE THERE, BUT INSTEAD GET BACK UP AND START OVER…WHEN WE GO IN THE STRENGTH OF HIS LOVE FOR US TO HELP ANOTHER…DOESN’T SOMETHING WONDERFUL HAPPEN IN OUR FATHER GOD’S HEART TOO? I THINK SO. I THINK HE FEELS THIS WAY ABOUT YOU. AND THE PASSING OF TIME WITH HIM ONLY DEEPENS THIS PRECIOUS RELATIONSHIP.

  3. That movie stayed with me after I watched it. The skill and beauty of the younger brother…lost to his vices. The successful older brother always somehow feeling second best. It was a very poignant story.

    The river of time that runs through our life is far too swift sometimes! My children are growing so quickly…it is cliche…but it seems like the blink of an eye. The different stages of their lives have all been precious…and trying, I’ll admit. But the mother in me has loved it!

    If I can love my children thru the terrible two tantrums of days past, the teenage turmoils and the drama queen pre-teen days of now….and I am imperfect and flawed…think how good the love of God has to be!! He has loved me thru drama and failure and tantrums and years of selfish sinfulness. He has loved me thru years of my trying to run away from Him. He has loved me all the way back into His arms.

    I love your last quote Doug. Thank the Father for eternity where we can allow relationships to come to full bloom….where we can bask in His love forever.

    JUST THINK, SHERRY, OF BEING IN A CONDITION WHERE WE CAN FULLY EXPERIENCE “RELATIONSHIP” WITHOUT IT EVER BEING DANGEROUS OR CONTAMINATED BY JEALOUSY, SELFISHNESS, FEAR, OR MANIPULATION. THINK OF BEING FREE FROM THE RESTRAINTS OF TIME, DISTANCE OR THOSE PRESSING RESPONSIBILITIES OF OUR HUMAN-NESS. THINK OF BEING ABLE TO BE COMPLETELY OPEN WITHOUT FEAR OF BEING JUDGED OR REJECTED. THINK OF HAVING NO OTHER AGENDA THAN THE WELFARE OF YOUR BELOVED. THINK OF NEVER WEARYING IN COMMUNION. THINK OF NEVER BEING EMBARRASSED BY LOVING TOO MUCH OR SPEAKING TOO FREELY OF IT. I WONDER WHAT AMAZING JOYS OUR FATHER GOD HAS IN STORE FOR US THERE….WHERE RELATIONSHIPS BLOSSOM INTO FULL BLOOM. I KNOW THIS…THE FORETASTE THAT WE HAVE OF IT HERE IN THE PRECIOUS RELATIONSHIPS GOD HAS GIVEN US…IS LIKE HEAVEN TO ME. AND THE PLEASURE OF HIS PRESENCE SUSTAINS US AND OPENS US TO (AND TO US) EVERY GOOD THING. YOUR LIFE IS A GIFT OF GOD, SHERRY, TO ALL YOUR BELOVED. ISN’T OUR GOD FANTASTIC?!

  4. Rex Boyles on said:

    My beloved friend, your last quote (Cowper) expresses what I believe must have been the heart of David for Jonathan … Jesus for John … Paul for Timothy … and me for you. It is also a worthy expression of the heart of the Father for every one who bears His image. Thank you for singing His song to my heart … yet more time. I love you. Rex

    I TELL YOU, BROTHER, WHEN FIRST I READ THAT QUOTE I THOUGHT…”HOW TRUE!” THEN I THOUGHT OF YOU. I’M SURE I FEEL LIKE ALL THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN BLESSED BY YOUR FRIENDSHIP. I HAVE ALWAYS FELT THAT I WAS ON THE RECEIVING END OF THE BLESSINGS. I HAVE ALWAYS FELT MY CONTRIBUTION TO YOU WAS DWARFED BY WHAT YOU GAVE AND GIVE TO ME…AND THIS FELT SO TRUE WHETHER IT WAS MERE INFORMATION WE EXCHANGED…ACTIVITIES WE SHARED…AFFECTION AFFIRMED…TIME SPENT…GIFTS GIVEN…WHATEVER. AT TIMES MY OWN SENSE OF THIS MADE ME FEEL GUILTY…MADE ME WISH THERE WAS MORE I COULD OFFER. HOWEVER…YOU NEVER…EVER…AGREED OR WOULD AGREE WITH THIS ASSESSMENT. I KNOW THAT YOU WOULD SAY YOU FEEL IT JUST THE OPPOSITE. OF COURSE YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT THAT. BUT THEN…THAT’S THE KIND OF QUARREL FRIENDS ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE…A LOVER’S QUARREL (AS IT WERE). MY FATHER GOD HAS WELCOMED ME HOME…PUT HIS ARMS AROUND ME IN THAT WAY THAT SAYS, “NOTHING CAN COME BETWEEN US.” HE ACCOMPLISHED THIS LOVING PURPOSE THROUGH THE AMAZING GRACE AND LOVE HE DEMONSTRATED THROUGH JESUS’ LIFE, MINISTRY, DEATH, RESURRECTION AND PRESENT LIFE. AND THOUGH I KNEW DEEP IN MY HEART THAT THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE HE NEEDED TO DO TO ESTABLISH HIS LOVE FOR ME…NOTHING ELSE I HAD A RIGHT TO EXPECT OR REQUIRE OF HIM…HE SHOCKED ME WITH JOY THROUGH YOUR FRIENDSHIP WHICH HAS ALWAYS BEEN LIKE HEALTH TO MY BONES…COMFORT FOR MY HEART…AND PEACE TO MY MIND. I AM NOT STRONG…BUT YOU MAKE ME STRONGER. I AM NOT BRAVE…BUT YOU HELP ME WANT TO BE…I AM NOT MATURE…BUT YOU HELP ME GROW. I AM NOT WISE…BUT YOU TEACH ME. I HAVE NOT ARRIVED…BUT YOU HELP ME WANT TO. I AM NOT THE KIND OF FRIEND THAT YOU HAVE BEEN TO ME…BUT WITH ALL MY HEART I WANT TO BE. FOR YOUR UNSELFISH, UNDYING, UNQUALIFIED FRIENDSHIP, I THANK YOU AND I BLESS GOD.

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