A couple of months ago I posted a poem entitled “I Have to Say Goodbye to My Daddy Today”. It was a heart-breaking time for me as I had already said goodbye to my mother and brother and now my father was moving overseas after having stayed with us for two years. I didn’t know if I would ever see him again and that meant I was the only one in my childhood family still living in this country. With me being such an emotional, cry at the drop of a hat sort of person … I really felt my heart was breaking.
A few days after he set foot on British soil though, I received a phone call from him, telling me that he was coming back here to live. He had packed all of his belongings up, they had beaten him over there and now they were to prepare for another trip across the seas back to where they had started from.
He had asked if we would have him back; but I never thought it would happen … especially so soon. I don’t know the full reason … but I praise the Lord that he is with us again and safe. Still jet lagged though and at 89 who can blame him!
But, and here’s the but …. he still wants to go back and talks about his homeland every day.
I feel so sad for him. He knows he can’t return to live because of his age; but his heart longs for a home that’s not here.
One of the first things he said to me when he wearily sat in our car to come “home” was who wrote “Rock of Ages”. After telling him Augustus Toplady, he went on to tell me that his nephew (my cousin) had taken him to the actual rock (and plaque) which was the hymn’s inspiration. He saw it as physical … I am praying that the Lord will reveal to him the spiritual.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.
Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
[originally When my eye-strings break in death]
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
Augustus M. Toplady
He loves this hymn … ‘The King of love my Shepherd is’.
The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never,
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever.
Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.
Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And O what transport of delight
From Thy pure chalice floweth!
And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house forever.
Henry W. Baker
I share this with you as it’s so easy to plan our tomorrows according to our dreams and complacency about our todays.
Only God knows what tomorrow will bring and everything that happens will be according to His will for our lives.
Life is so precious. True happiness and peace are only found in Him.
I love you so much Daddy … may this happiness and peace fill you completely.
hymns courtesy of http://www.cyberhymnal.org
photo taken just before he left for England on his previous visit last year