My dad turned ninety-three on January 30th and is still doing well. On January 24th he drove himself to the Little Rock, AR, airport, a two hour drive from his home, and then flew to Houston, TX. The next day, Friday, dad went to an appointment at MD Anderson Hospital, and then traveled to Victoria, TX on Saturday. Dad had a little help on the way; airports and airline workers helped him get to the proper gate and board the plane (He gets early boarding which means his choice of seats). Ninety-three years of age come with some privileges. My son, Brandon, picked him up at the airport and then went with him for his appointments, and my brother, Lynn, picked him up in Houston and took him to Victoria. After a few days, Lynn and I meet halfway between Victoria and San Antonio and I brought dad to my home for a little stay.
I often think about my great fortune to have had my mom and to still have dad. Many who know me know that I am an adopted child. I had no “natural” right to their blessings and love, but they made me as much a part of the family as their two biological sons. The same encouragement, support and discipline given to my brothers were given to me. It’s not possible for me to know everything they did, the extent or depth of all of their sacrifices on my behalf. Repayment for their love is simply not possible.
What are ninety-three years compared to eternity? Time is a measurement created by God “in the beginning” (Gen. 1) and will end at the destruction of all that is physical (2 Peter 3:5-13). We are all too familiar with the brevity of life as it pertains to time. James describes it as a vapor or mist (James 4:14) and that is true even for those who lived beyond nine hundred years old (Genesis 5). An earthly life has a beginning and an end, and that end always comes relatively soon.
Every person has eternity waiting for them. The only question is where will we spend eternity? And please understand there are but two options, eternal punishment or eternal life (Matt. 25:46).
Even though dad is doing reasonably well, he still has his aches and pains. He says his mind is showing the effects of age, and perhaps, it is a little, but I am not too sure about that. Life in the earthly body suffers and grows old. (Psalms 90:10). We don’t like it, but that is what we expect. I do not want to leave this life of pain and suffering only to go to a place where it is infinitely worse and never ending. Thankfully, heaven is an option through the adoption process.
There is One “Natural” Son of God, the Christ, Immanuel (“God with us”). (Matthew 1:20-23). Through His sacrifice for our sins, we have an opportunity to become adopted sons of God and heirs through Him (Gal. 4:4-7). In fact, faithful Christians are described as “fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him.” (Romans 8:16-17).
Here are some expressions of the Father’s goodness to His Children:
1. Loved by God – Romans 1:7
2. Grace and peace – 2 Cor. 1:2
3. Mercy and comfort – 2 Cor. 1:3
4. Blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places – Eph. 1:3
5. Holy and blameless – Eph. 1:4
6. Born again to a living hope – 1 Peter 1:3
7. Called children of God; and so we are – 1 John 3:1
8. Final victory through our Lord Jesus Christ – 1 Cor. 18:57
9. Salvation – 1 Peter 1:9
As grateful as I am to my earthly parents, and I am beyond measure, it is my eternal condition and relationship for which I am most thankful. This is what my dad and mom wanted for me. Their love and sacrifices were intended to focus my life toward God. Life is short and the opportunity to prepare for the eternal future is now.