I lost my father a week ago on Monday, April 6th, 2020. It was my birthday. It was supposed to be the 6th day of his retirement. I hadn’t seen him in almost 2 weeks due to COVID quarantine and the last time I talked to him he was weak and could barely understand me. He spent the last 11 days of his life in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator, laying prone on a hospital bed. There were complications with his dialysis tube that prevented him from getting the dialysis that could have righted his lungs and potentially saved his life. My mom couldn’t go see him in the hospital because she had taken care of him at home before his hospitalization and was now suspected to also have COVID… she had to sit in her car on the side of the road while a nurse FaceTimed her into my dad’s room before they removed his vent and let him pass. My dad quietly passed from this life without ever getting to say good bye or “I love you” to his family and friends. I am not sure when my family will be able to gather next to see each other and mourn.
With all this being said, I am at peace. I am sad and I have cried, but ultimately I am at peace. I am content, joyful, and I know all things are good. I am at peace when there should be no peace. Why? Because I know God is in control. I trust Him for what He promises those who love, fear, and rely on Him. Isaiah 26:3-4 says, “You will keep the mind that is dependent on you in perfect peace, for it is trusting in you. Trust in the LORD forever, because in the LORD, the LORD himself, is an everlasting rock!” God keeps His people, those that are dependent and trusting on God, at peace forever. I am at peace because God grants me peace.
I am also at peace because God’s promise to love, for all eternity, those who love and obey Him came to fruition for my dad. My father is now in his heavenly home with his Heavenly Father who received him with open and healing arms. My dad is now perfected, healed, celebrating, and at peace. He will no longer struggle on this earth, he will no longer taste the death and rot of sin, instead he now enjoys perfect peace. My dad is at peace because God grants him eternal peace.
My dad is at peace when there should be no peace. He didn’t deserve this eternal peace. My dad was a sinner, he was more than that of course but chiefly he was a sinner. Yet he was a sinner saved by grace. He lived as an enemy of God until God mercifully changed his heart to understand Him, recognize his own sin, repent of it, and trust in Him for forgiveness. God didn’t just forgive him at that moment, he also rewarded him with everlasting and complete righteousness. My father is now at peace with the Father because he was given something he didn’t deserve, desire, or earn until God revealed His glory and turned my dad from death to life everlasting. Praise God.
How can I and my dad have peace when there shouldn’t be any? It is as Isaiah 26:3-4 says, God will keep those who trust Him, depend on Him, at peace. There is a great peace to have in this life when death has lost its sting to Christ’s resurrection victory. And there is a great peace to be had with God after this life is through and He has come to bring those He loves to Him in heaven. Godly peace is something no one can earn, manufacture, or claim, it is only a gift from the God who is in control of all things (including death), provides all things (including salvation), and sustains all things (for all eternity). And this God, the God of the Bible, offered this to me and my father and does to all people (including you) so that it would be accepted in faith. If one trusts in Christ, they are given the peace of Christ, the peace they could never have otherwise, both in this life and in the life to come.
I love you dad. I tell you this now in hopes that you can somehow read my writing and know it. I wanted so badly to tell you this in person before the Lord took you home. I want you to know that you were a great father, teacher, leader, and friend. I would not be the man I am today if it weren’t for your firm, loving words and your time spent shoulder-to-shoulder with me. I will miss our conversations. I will miss talking about the Yankees and Giants with you. I will miss grilling with you and the brothers. I will miss you praying at Thanksgiving and when you didn’t know what else to do or say. I will miss how you made fun of me and the brothers. I wish you could be here to see your grandchildren grow up, love Grammie, you, others, and, Lord willing, Jesus. I wish we could have been elders together for longer. I wish you could still help me with projects around the house and I could do the same for you. I wish you could still come over on Mondays to watch the kids with mom and teach them about God. And I wish I had one more chance to pray with you and witness your confidence in the Lord despite knowing the virus would take your life (though I know it was really God who lovingly took you home to be with Him).
I am proud to call you my father. I know you would say that you weren’t as good as you could of been but you taught me the power of Christ’s forgiveness and how our Heavenly Father loves His children. I would not be the Christian I am today if it were not for you. You and I are at peace because God is good and in control. We trust Him to be so and to do so – you far more completely now than I as you rest in the perfect care of God.
I love and miss you dad. I am looking forward to one day seeing you again and knowing the peace you have now with your Lord and Savior.