When I was a boy, my father would have been considered a failure by the world’s measure of success. My dad’s father left home when he was twelve and my dad was forced to help his mother keep food on the table and went to work during the depression picking turnips for three cents a day. He had to walk miles daily to and from the fields.
He never finished high school and was not qualified for much of anything and ended up working in aluminum foundries most of his life doing hard, dirty work that paid very little. Most of the time my dad worked more than one job to keep things afloat. He was a little skinny guy who was blind in one eye from an accident at work that hampered him his whole life.
My dad grew up in a home that was vile and godless. There was no Bible, no church, no upright behavior, no grandparent who could introduce him to Jesus… nothing. He grew up knowing nothing about God or God’s love for him.
Then my dad was saved in a miraculous way when he was fourteen. My dad spent a lot of time alone in a shed with dirt floors that was his bedroom. He liked to build crystal sets, which were very primitive radios. A crystal rock was used to pick up radio signals. They usually picked up the waves of one channel.
One day, he went into a wheat field across the dirt road from his house and sat down in the middle of the wheat. It was over his head, and nobody could see him. He began to listen to his crystal set, and on the channel he received was a man preaching the gospel. He had never heard it before.
After he heard the message of salvation, he got on his knees and prayed out loud to God under the covering of the tall wheat. He said, “God, if what this man has said is true, show me.”
Nothing happened. Again, still on his knees, he said, “God if what this man says is true, show me.”
And again, nothing happened. And again, a third time, Dad said to God, “If what this man said is true, show me.”
At that moment, the sky went dark, and he saw Jesus hanging on the cross. Jesus’ head was hanging down with his hair covering his face. He told me that Jesus had brown, wavy hair. Then he saw the Roman soldier come up to Jesus and pierce Jesus in His side and water came rushing out.
After this happened, he went back to the house and asked his mother if she could get him a bible. I do not know if she found one for him or not, but at some time shortly after this happened, Dad finally read about what he had seen in his vision about Jesus.
God showed my dad in a miraculous way that the message of salvation is truth, and that his sins were forgiven that day as Jesus paid the price with his life for dad’s sins.
Years later, dad got married to my mother and I came along.
My dad made sure that I got what he never had. My dad never had someone who knew Jesus to help him along the way, and teach him God’s Word, and live out that Word as a great example of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
Was my dad a success? No, not by the standards of this world.
But, what about God’s standards? Do you think God really cares about your well-crafted resume? What do you think?
In the eyes of the Heavenly Father, my dad was one of the greatest successes ever. He was my mentor. He was my teacher. He was my example. He lived out his faith in God and because he did, I was exposed to what faith is.
I saw first hand what God’s grace can do in a man’s life, and I saw first hand how God’s grace was played out in the life of one skinny, half-blind, unqualified foundry worker who knew God personally.
My dad struggled his whole life with the challenges of life, and the disadvantages he lived with. But he never gave up. Never giving up is a trait of a winner. My dad was a winner.
He never let anything get in the way of his relationship with God, and was aware of the pitfalls of sin.
He taught a Bible Class until he was ninety-one. At his funeral, I discovered many others he was a trusted mentor to. Praise God for men like this!
If you are a dad, don’t use the world’s measure of success, but use God’s measure of success. Be a good father to your children, and teach God’s ways to your children and then live them it out faithfully. This is what will make you a good dad or not. Never mind all the hoopla that the world tries to impose on your thinking.
I was very fortunate to have a father like this. You may not be this fortunate. But, God tells you that there are people who can serve as a mentor to you, who will take special interest and care of you and make sure you are where you should be in the Lord, just like may dad did for me.
We have around us many people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back. Hebrews 12:1 NLT
You may not have a dad like mine. But there are people to help you grow in your faith. God says so. Talk to your pastor and tell him that you want a mentor. Tell him about my story. He will help you.
May God bless you this week!
God bless you all!