This is my first Thanksgiving as a pastor. To be honest it feels like any other Thanksgiving (except that we are in an entirely new place – one that actually gets snow every year). I have a lot to be thankful for. My wife supports and loves me like no other and my boys have just been an enormous blessing as they make every day an adventurous one. I have a wonderful church family that has been so kind and gracious to us. My senior Pastor has been an incredible resource and I have enjoyed learning from him. There are many more things to be thankful for but I wanted to turn back the clock a little and focus on one thing in particular. Make that one person instead. My dad.
My dad is a pastor. But that is not necessarily why I thank God for him. He was a good dad who provided for us a home and a stable environment. But that does not get at the heart of why I am praise God for this man. He disciplined me regularly – and while I was not always appreciative of that then, I am much more so now.
The reason I thank God, my Heavenly Father, for my earthly father is because of the love that my earthly father displayed for God and his word. My dad wasn’t perfect (just like your dad) but one thing that my dad kept coming back to over and over again is God’s word. “What does the Bible say?” was primary for my dad. He wanted to know what was biblical. He wanted to follow God. This has had as much and more of an impact on the way I think than anything else. That doesn’t mean that my dad and I agree on everything. I wish that were true. But the failure is not due to an unclear Word but to the deficiencies in us. I can hear my dad sometimes when I am thinking through a problem or question. “What does the Bible say?” I ask myself. And in that question echoes the voice of my father.
What/Who do you thank God for?