It seems like the older I get, I face more and more waves threatening to crash onto the shore and knock all my sandcastles over. Fortunately by now, through the strength of God and the foundation of my upbringing, I have learned just a little bit to stand strong against the mighty waters.
When my brother and I were both much smaller, we took a family vacation to the beach. We did all the usual things—built sand mountains (we gave up on castles a long time ago), swam in the pool like fish, raced the tide as it came in and out and visited the little fair that used to be next to Souvenir City. It was the best of times in the shimmering sun and the salty air and I was content to play all day.
On this particular beach trip my brother was just a toddler and couldn’t go out in the ocean on his own. My parents would take turns taking us out into the water to play even more. We loved the thrill of being in the action of the tidal waves, but we were never really on our own.
And one of these times as my dad was holding my brother above the waves, a gigantically powerful one swept their way. It knocked into my dad with force and he lost his prescription glasses and his grip on my brother. It was no choice, of course, as my dad turned to save his child and let the glasses float away to never be seen again. Perhaps a nearsighted shark was given new hope that day.
We have joked about that story of the day my dad saved my brother and lost his glasses for years, but the lesson of that vacation has stayed in my mind for a long time. It’s not just the story of my family; it’s the story of the love of a Father who will sacrifice in order to save his children. It’s the story of a child facing the waves of life, but never drowning because of a rescuer standing beside them with arms wide open. It’s the story of a Savior.
Jesus so desperately wants to hold us up above the waves and rescue us the minute they knock us over or take us out. He sacrificed His life in order to save us from all that could ever destroy us. My dad was there that day to grab a hold of my brother the minute he drifted; and God is there every hour of every day when we drift, sink, drown or simply forget we can reach.
My dad is a great reminder of God’s strength and dedication. He is the foundation behind my brother and I and we are who we are in great part to him. He has sacrificed much over the years in order to provide for our family. He passed down a love of music and football and Jesus Christ. He teaches us by example and we love him more than he could know.
Happy Father’s Day to all the incredible men out there. We appreciate and honor you!
And to the best dad I know, thanks for who you are and all you do. Life is better for having had you in it. I love you.