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Thursday, June 18, 2009

WHEN THE FATHER SINGS

J. Grant Swank Jr.


"Sing, daddy!"


This command came from my four-year-old daughter as she descended the stairs to the living room from our family room.


Then we lived in a large house with rooms that were sprawled out. In the mind of a child, the whole complex must have appeared a bit mystifying. But moreā€”the interweaving of the stairs, halls, and nooks must have seemed to be filled with ghosts.


Now, when this tyke of mine decided to traverse an unlighted part of our home, she would call out, "Sing, Daddy!" In that way, she could hear my voice while she was walking through the dark. Somehow that brought her comfort so as to dispel the fears that otherwise could have lurked around each corner.


To any logical adult, a father's melody would not have thrust through the meanest foe; nevertheless, to a trusting child, Daddy's song brought the strength needed to make it through. Each time Heidi instructed me to wind up with music, I was reminded of how frequently I do the same thing.


I am a child of God.


There are times when I am forced by life to go into dark corners that I simply do not want to scout out. However, having no other choice but to proceed, I cry out, "Sing, Daddy!"


And He does.


However, there have been times when in my independent streak I have charged forth without thinking things through or asking for help. Those impulsive moves have driven me further and further into my own oblivion. Yet all the while I was sure that I was making the reasonable choice. On and on and on. . .my move, my way, my logic. It was a blueprint that wore well. It was a pattern that had all the points already figured out. It was so fail-safe.


Ever been there?


There was a move I knew was right for all of us. It was just the geography best for the family. We would be near kin and yet open to fresh adventures. What a challenging assignment for the gospel work! All seemed to add up to be heaven's will. Variables had come in line to reveal the divine plan.


Ever been there?


But no. It all unraveled before our eyes. Zap. Done. Back to square one. Not easy. But fact.. There was no wrestling with the obvious. What thought to be heaven's move was nothing more than our misperceptions mixed with wishful weavings.
Has this happened more than once? Yes. And you?


So when crippled at the end of the jaunt, I have counseled my inner heart to be wiser next time so as to ask Father to sing. That is humbling. It is also being patient with a scope beyond me. It is yielding to the One. It is learning the Way of Submission, not a popular take in an egocentric, headstrong era.


"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. . .Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23:4,6)


When I sincerely permit Father to sing, my fears are eased so that I know I'm not journeying alone. The sound of His voice makes all the difference in the world.