Legacy

“Dad is with the Lord”.

A ringing phone and those words jarred me out of sleep a week ago today.  I wanted it to be someone else’s story, not mine.  I wanted to go back to bed and have it be a terrible dream.  But it wasn’t.  My father, David Virkler, had been called Home.

These past few days have been filled with tears and there’s an ache in my heart that I’ve never known before.  But in the midst of it, I’m becoming so aware that while a great man left us, he left us (he left me) with something precious.

A legacy.

My Dad spent his life telling others about Jesus.  He preached in big churches and small ones.  He spoke in camps and conferences and even other countries.  His voice was heard on the radio and his words were read in print. The testimonies of those who were impacted by his ministry have brought us comfort as we received cards and notes and phone calls this week. Even in the last few days of his life, he wanted others to meet God.  He would hand tracts to his nurses and tell them he wanted to see them in heaven.

We didn’t know he’d be in heaven so soon, but God did.  And God used him up until the very end of the earthly life he lived so well.

A legacy is something handed down from the past.  Dad’s earthly life is past now, but he’s left all of us with an example of what it means to put God first, what it means to serve and to lead and to love.

I could never have the widespread influence and impact he had. I’m not on the radio, I’m not a great speaker, I’m not nearly as bold as he was.  But maybe I could influence and impact one person today.  Maybe I could find the courage to tell someone else about Jesus. Dad would want that.   

Thanks, Dad.

 

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.      Psalm 16:6

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:4

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him. Proverbs 23:24

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through

Definition: in at one end, side, or surface and out at the other.

I make good use of my snooze alarm.  Love hitting it over and over, peeping out from the covers with one eye open to see how many more times I can do that before I need to open both eyes and actually get myself out of bed.

The problem is, I have the clock radio set to play music instead of an alarm, and sometimes a song comes on that is so good, I have to wrestle with myself over whether or not I’ll whack that “snooze” button, or let the song play.  This morning was one of those mornings. 

I let it play.

I hadn’t heard this song in years, but God knew I needed it today.  My family has been going “through” a crisis with my Dad being in the hospital with serious post-surgery complications.  As I laid there in bed in the early hours of this morning and listened to these lyrics, I thought about going “through” something.  “Going through” implies that you’re going to come out on the other side.

Looking forward to the other side, but so thankful for the God walking through it with us now.

Through It All  (by Andrae Crouch)

I thank God for the mountains,
and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I’d never had a problem,
I wouldn’t know God could solve them,
I’d never know what faith in God could do.

Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God.
Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.            Psalm 23:4

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?  Psalm 27:1

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; Psalm 138:7

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.              Isaiah 41:10

 

 

 

Upgrade

I get pretty serious about traveling by air.  I get my tickets well in advance.  I select my seats so I am right where I want to be.  I get to the airport hours early. I don’t like surprises.

So of course God gave me one.

My return flight to Florida from New Jersey after the holidays was late, and of course I had gotten to the airport early, which made the wait even longer.  The airport was crowded, the flight was full and people were getting tired. When we were finally called to board at 10:30 (PM!), all I wanted to do was get in my pre-selected seat and start the journey home.

Imagine my surprise as a red light flashed on the gate agent’s desk as they scanned my boarding pass.  “Oh, Miss Virkler, your seat has been changed.  They’ve moved you to a window seat”.

“Oh, Miss Gate Agent, I think not”.  I didn’t really say that, but I wanted to.  I wanted an aisle seat.  I didn’t want to be crammed into a window seat.  I had prepared ahead of time so I WOULDN’T be in a window.  I was quickly getting irritated.  With a sigh of impatience, I asked her why I had been moved.  She said,  “They’ve given you an exit row seat”.

A few minutes later I was comfortably seated in Row 20, Seat A, with an embarrassingly generous amount of leg room and no one in the seat next to me.  And my impatience had turned to humbled gratefulness to whoever the person was that moved me.

Sometimes we’ve been given an upgrade and we don’t realize it until after we’ve sighed and complained because the plans we made have been changed without our consent.  Sometimes God is in the process of moving us out of our pre-selected and well-prepared plans because He has a great surprise for us down the road.

The next time your plans don’t go the way you thought they would, take a deep breath, keep your mouth shut and trust God.

He may well be in the middle of giving you an upgrade.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.  Isaiah 55:8

But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, nor do they understand His counsel; Micah 4:12

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. Hebrews 10:35

New

I’ve been driving the same way to work for 5 years.

And then a few weeks ago for some unknown reason, I turned right instead of going straight and took a different road.  It’s faster.  It’s less stressful.  And I’m in a much better mood when I get to work.

Who knew that such a little change could make such a big difference? 

So now it’s a new year, and I’m thinking about new things.  And maybe there are other areas of my life where I should rethink the ways that I’ve been doing things for years.  Maybe the familiar roads aren’t really the best ones.  Maybe there are other roads to choose that will give me completely new perspectives and experiences and adventures.

The Bible talks a lot about paths and roads and ways.  And I think God especially likes to take us on new ones because that’s where we’ll see His goodness and His provision and His blessing.

I’ll think about that on my way to work this morning on my “new road”.  And I’ll pray that in 2012, God will show me some new roads of His own.

 

I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

But He knows the way that I take;  Job 23:10

You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Psalm 139:3

Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “this is the way, walk in it” whenever you turn to the right hand, or to the left.  Isaiah 30:21