“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and the languishing soul I will replenish.”

~Jeremiah 31:25

 

The fading flowers

The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

Isaiah 40:7-8

Going to see my dad, whose health is failing was extremely difficult.  It is hard to see one who has always been so active confined to a wheel chair, unable to pull himself up.  He is struggling emotionally with all that is going on in his life.  Dealing with a long-term illness is draining – on the care giver as well as the person who is affected.  I have seen the toll it has taken on both my mom and my brother.  I felt it when I took care of my dad for three weeks after mom broke her hip last year.

As I have had some time to reflect, my dad reminds me of an animal that is feeling threatened and has lost control.  He lashes out at those that he loves and those that are taking care of him.  It is hard to let some of the things that he says just slip by and not be hurt by them.  I didn’t know my grandpa, my dad’s dad) well, but from what I am hearing from some of my relatives, my dad is becoming a lot like him.  My grandfather was mean and did not treat people well.  He was also an alcoholic which did not help the situation.  To see my dad becoming like what my grandfather is described as, is very hard.

My dads patience is no longer in existence.  He used to be so patient with me in learning things like how to drive a manual transmission.  Now he can not give me enough time to get from the driver’s side of the car to the passenger’s side before he is yelling at me to get him out of the car.

Knowing what my dad is like these days makes it hard to think about going back in a few days.  In my flesh, I would rather enjoy my son’s last regional Basket Ball tournament without having to deal with the drama of my dad.  No one likes to be yelled at and called all sorts of names.  But then I think of verses like –

– But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace; and with His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5)

– And He will be delivered to over to the Gentiles and will mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. (Luke 18:32)

He was misunderstood, conspired against and did not defend himself, but went willingly to the cross so that I could have a relationship with God through his shed blood.

So as I think about going back I think about a lot of things and wonder how shall I respond to my dad.  I am still wrestling through these thoughts, but am thinking that I need to just love him and ignore his harsh words.  That is much easier said than done.  I am counting on God giving me the grace to love through the emotions instead of letting the emotions control my  reactions.  Does that make sense?

If you think about me and my family this next week, pray for us to love my dad well despite the circumstances.