By Dan Hall
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ~ Galatians 6:9
“She didn’t come home last night,” my wife told me as I was preparing to go into another meeting in Atlanta. My heart sank as I grabbed my bags, jumped in my car, and collapsed that 6½-hour drive into 5. All the way home I struggled with my thoughts and emotions.
Our teenage daughter (we have 6 children) had been making poor decisions and was pushing the boundaries even further. As a father, I can vacillate between anger at the problem that comes out as rejection toward my children and blaming myself that manifests as uncertainty. And if not careful, I can let the perfect storm of anger, inadequacy and, honestly, the sense of “Why are you doing this to me?” take me out of the game.
And in that moment, I have to remind myself that one of the most important gifts I give my children is to keep showing up. When I want to blow up (because let’s face it, I just want them to stop it! regardless of their reason), or feel sorry for myself or simply wash my hands of the whole thing, those aren’t options if I’m going to love them like our heavenly Father loves us.
So I “bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” seek to “let the peace of Christ rule my heart” and show up to my child with clarity and grace. Regardless of how I’m feeling, I just keep showing up!
That daughter now has a beautiful relationship with the Lord, her husband, and her family. God is using her to minister to many people.
Driving down the road one day, she asked me “Dad, do you know why I came back to the Lord?”
“No baby, why?” a little taken aback by the question.
“Because I knew you would always come get me; it made me realize the Lord was the same way.” In other words, “you kept showing up.”
And isn’t God like that with us? A shepherd finding the one lost sheep, the woman finding the one lost coin, the father who scans the horizon and runs to embrace the rebel-child coming home.
We need to show up at the recital, the ballgame, dinnertime, etc. But we also need to show up if they’re fighting their own failure. It’s not always easy to not become weary in doing well. But we can have this confidence—at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Here’s to all you dads who are, will continue or are about to start SHOWING UP!