Updated: Sep 2
When I was still working for an English training company, I sometimes hitched a ride with my friend and co-worker March. We both lived in the same village so it was convenient to carpool. We also worked the afternoon shift which finished at 10pm. One evening as we drove through one of the darkest parts of our normal route, we suddenly felt the car dragging a bit. We didn't stop right away because it was pitch black and that road was known for muggings.
We went a bit further and parked by a lamp post so we could get out of the car and see what was wrong. The left rear tire was dead flat. March tried changing it, but no matter how hard she was pushing down on the jack handle the lifting arm wouldn't budge. The lamp post's dim light reflected the bleak situation. My immediate response was to call Papa.
After several rings, a groggy voice answered.
"Hello . . ."
"Hi, Pa, sorry to wake you, but could you come and help me and March? We're stuck along Daang Hari (King's Road) with a flat tire and we're having a problem with the jack."
"Okay, I'll be there in 15 minutes."
We were saved! March and I were both relieved that help was on its way. Fifteen minutes later he pulled up in front of us and took his jack handle from the trunk of his car. A couple pulled up too and offered to help but Papa was already working on the jack. After several hard pumps, the lifting arm finally budged and Papa was able to change the tire. The man from the other car remarked, "Your dad is strong. How old is he?" I replied, "He's 69." Sounding a bit surprised, he said, "He's strong for his age." I couldn't help but smile and be proud of Papa. After a few more checks, we all boarded our cars and went on our way.
That was more than 10 years ago and all my life Papa had always been there for me whenever I called for his help. He was the kind of man who would not think twice to help a person in need or save someone's life. "Serving the people, securing the land" is the Philippine Army's motto and as a retired Army officer, he adhered to it all his life. When he became a follower of Christ, his new mission became the Great Commission. He wanted to see people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and saw it through personally and the church.
In the last couple of months of his life, the roles reversed. The man, we and many other people relied on, became completely dependent on us and medical professionals for his every need. Through that very tough period and the loss we experienced after, however, our family felt the comfort of God.
It’s been more than a year since Papa went home to be with the Lord and we all miss him. Our church community, friends, and relatives became God’s arms that embraced and held us up. When we were by ourselves, we felt His abiding love comforting us in our grief. I lost my earthly father but my heavenly Father made His presence felt even more.
I always knew that Jesus was my Lord, Savior and Friend, and the Holy Spirit, my Helper. Now, I was getting to know God again as my Father and I totally depended on him.
There is a deep sense of peace and security that comes when you are wholeheartedly reliant on Him. It does not mean though that I will not do anything but instead I will do what He tells me to do. He is always with me and keeps me secure by guiding me into the right path. I can still be hurt and will fall at times but His comfort is there with every step. When I deliberately turn from where He wants me to go, He patiently calls me back and doesn't stop until I'm back on track. I am grateful for that grace which I am much in need.
For me, the most exciting thing with God as my Father is Him providing exactly what I need. He dotes on me and takes great delight in treating me with wonderful unexpected gifts which I absolutely love. A couple of all white and all yellow butterflies have been regularly visiting our garden and I was secretly hoping to see more varieties. One morning while doing garden chores, a butterfly similar to the one pictured here rested for a few moments on my chest right where the heart is. I was taken aback at its proximity and held my breath while it stayed with me for a few seconds. That cute surprise made my day!
We are in a season where everything is uncertain. Be encouraged today because the stability and safety which we are looking for can be found in the Father. Our lives are safe and secure in His hands. He will lead us in a sure path whether it be narrow or wide. He knows exactly what is going on and has already prepared for them. We are in good hands - He's got this.