Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hope for Recently Separated Dad’s

Every now and then we hear a song that is spoken as if directly from (or to) our own hearts. The song reminds us how in tune we are in the context of eternity--that what we experience, or have experienced, is true.

Recently separated dads, victims of failed marriages and relationships, could really feel at home listening to the following lyrics.[1]

There is no sadder story

Than the one of this man

Who lost everything that he owned

Everything he treasured

Was ripped from his hands

And he found himself all on his own

And his friends all sat around him

and told him deny

But he shocked them

With his reply[2]

And what of his reply? He was waiting… waiting to approach the gates of heaven and the experience of the deliverance of God. And in a way this applies to life here and now. This guy waiting patiently for justice to occur will eventually get it.

The song, Waiting is dedicated in part to this verse… “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials…” 1 Peter 1:6 NIV (full story, see vss. 3-9). It’s the recognition that in the trouble and distress of loss and rejection there’s a ‘living hope’ we can clutch to.

This living hope doesn’t even seem real or tangible, but somehow we can do the most difficult things driven by it, and that’s enough for us though we cannot explain this.

The man that lost everything had his friends ‘all sat around him’ telling him to deny it. Amazingly people will do this in their sympathy and think they’re doing the right thing. Perhaps it’s best to just sit Shiva.

Circumstances like these are most often reminiscent of Job.

Even Job’s friends “heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, [and] they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him” –Job 2:11 (NIV). But, could they console him? No. Job was inconsolable. And so are we when we lose everything. (Not that most could even come close to imagining what this could or would be like!)

As a once-separated father who’d ‘lost everything he owned; everything he treasured ripped from his hands’… but in the midst of it found himself ‘in the hands of God,’ I can personally attest to God’s unfailing faithfulness. “His hands,” as the Newsboys song says, “are mighty to deliver.” Jesus truly is ‘the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6)

Better than that, there’s more to come. Like so many, it is my personal experience that life only gets better and better--in the growth of God. Now, today, I’ve never been stronger, both within my own resources and in the faith that God’s nurtured in me. Steadily over time God restores the balance and continues to mature us.

Separated dad in pain: don’t give up. With the courage of faith, hang in there. God delivers. Eventually. Faithfully. Completely. Forever.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

[1] I certainly related to these lyrics, when at the time (back in 2004), I felt I’d lost everything--still only a raw nine months previously.

[2] Nathan Tasker, “Waiting” (song) from A Look Inside CD album (Wahroonga, Australia: Cross-Word Music, 2003).

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