My Dad passed away last week; the world lost a great adventurer, businessman, soldier, philosopher, and friend, yet heaven gained a great saint! Hallelujah to the Lord who welcomes back with arms thrown wide open and celebrates. In honor of my Dad, I have re-posted a blog from Father’s Day last year, “A Father Loves his Children & A Gardener Loves his Garden.” Thank you, Lord, for the blessings you put in our lives, beginning with our Dads.
A Father Loves his Children & A Gardener Loves his Garden
There are three overarching metaphors in God’s Word to picture the love God has for us: He loves each of us the way a Gardener loves his garden, a Shepherd loves his sheep, and a Father loves his children.
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. John 15:1
Each of these are filled with tending-and-keeping, working-and-taking-care-of devotion and attention, explaining that the love God has for us is committed over time to nurture our growth.
H A P P Y F A T H E R ’ S D A Y
to my Dad, who watched over me, led me, guided me, provided for me, both in his words and actions; and to my husband, whom I watch every day as he leads, guides, and works so diligently to provide for our children and shape their lives.
Sometimes, as a gardener knows, part of that work involves pruning – a drastic cutting back so that the plant will grow with better form and production. Sadly, I didn’t respect the pruning hand of my dad, nor my husband today, as much as I do of a gardener’s! I am sorry for the protest and rebellion in me that sprouts faster than weed seeds, so often hurt and haughty about a strongly advised change I need to make. All I can do is pray, O Lord, that when such discipline comes to me, I will think of it in a garden context. He intends to yield a better result, just as I prune my roses so they will bloom again more brilliantly.
because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:11-13
Lord, thank you that these men have cared enough to cut me back when needed, and help me appreciate the love that they are showing….not a softy, comforting love, but a deep love and commitment to see me grow and become all I can be, just like I hope for my garden!
©2014 Shelley S. Cramm A view of my Dad’s snowy garden (well, not really a gardener, he would call it landscaping) in Dillon, CO. We spent most of our time working on sledding trails, not garden beds in this garden, so fun! “Our Father in heaven” takes on a deeper, more beautiful meaning now with our father’s passing (Matthew 6:9 & Matthew 18:19-20).
c. 1968 This has become a favorite picture of me and my Dad. I love the image of his hand holding mine, tenderly leading and guiding.
Oh, Shelley, the photo of you and our dad is so precious! I send prayers your way..I lost my dad almost 8 years ago…silently he passed in his sleep…no good byes and I had talked with him just the day before…but, God is good..and, I know my father is in heaven, also. I have had glimpses of that goodness when I miss him most..there is a sign..surely from heaven and I smile and remember my dad and know he is there…still…and the greatest part of all is that one day you and I both will be welcomed by our Lord in the same way…when my dad passed I was so distraught..I went to my bible and prayed for a sign from the Lord that dad was with him and all was ok in heaven..I was outside on our front porch and as I turned to go inside I noticed a lily of the valley growing in with my mint..the patch of mint that my grandmother(my dad’s mom) started from her garden for me…the only lily of the valley..growing all alone..I picked it and wondered what lily of the valley meant and looked it up in my bible..there, in Song of Solomon the only mention of lily anywhere in the bible was a verse that made me know it was a sign from God, and Dad, as it read “Like a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters” and it went on to say “like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my love among the sons”…I have two sisters and three brothers..and, dad was letting me know..through that lily of the valley, that he loved us all still..I still have that lily of the valley pressed into my bible…the Lord will comfort you..maybe in a sign from your garden, like I received my comfort….I am thinking of you and praying for your comfort.
Deborah, so good to hear from you and thank you for sharing your story with me and all our readers. I came across this quotation which you have perfectly exemplified:” …when you read the Bible, you must think that here and now God is speaking with me” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer, quoted by Inge Karding in the biography Bonhoeffer, by Eric Metaxas. The Lord has given me many comforts, most of them through plants, of course:-) bringing me back to His Word. What a joy that we could connect through God’s Word for Gardeners, dear kindred sister!