- - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

As told in the Gospel of Mark, the air that day was thick with emotion and excitement … excitement because of what had just occurred before the eyes of the crowd, emotion so strong no one dared speak as word came to the father that his young daughter had just died.

Such a contrast of jubilation and sorrow. The woman standing before the rabbi had just been healed completely of a disease she had long battled, even to the point of destitution.

The father, a religious elder no less, stood helpless and hopeless as his future and his hopes were dashed to pieces as the messenger’s words took hold of his heart: “Your daughter is dead.”

As the father steadied himself and his eyes met the rabbi’s, he heard some people say, “Let’s not trouble the rabbi any longer.”

And before he could even respond, the comforting words of the Nazarene landed clearly in his heart “Do not be afraid; only believe.” (Mark 5:36)

For dads past, present and future, we each know the challenges, fears and overwhelming concerns we have for our children and their futures.

We would fight — even die, if necessary — for their safety and well-being, and yet at times we struggle to know how to do it right, how to make the right choices, and how to be the fatherly influence we need to be.

Then those words of the Rabbi speak through the ages to us all “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

The father’s name was Jarius, the rabbi’s name, Jesus.

We are not privy to the little girl’s name, nor are we told what kind of a girl, woman or mother she grew up to be, but what we do know is this: She did grow up because Jesus came to her home and healed her. And more importantly for us dads, we know a few more key pieces of information: We know what she saw when she came to and looked into the face of her father. When she opened her eyes and looked at her daddy, she saw that he was not ashamed to seek out Jesus.

Dads, let your babies know there are some things you cannot do but show them that you have faith in the one you say you serve, faith in the one you go to church to worship and sing about. Let them hear you calling out on the name of the Lord, and not just in church! As a father, I must be a seeker of Him a seeker of God’s wisdom, strength and guidance.

The second thing I want you to notice: The young daughter saw that her father was not ashamed to express his love toward her. He loved his little girl, and this love said, “I do what I have to do, go where I have to go to see that you’re made whole.”

We don’t know how long she lived, but I do believe that there was not a day that went by that this girl didn’t know or think, “I’m alive today because of my daddy’s love for me!”

For our family, a moment of truth came nine years ago, on June 30th, as I recall, and a Saturday, to be exact. The moment of truth was the moment she had been waiting for all her life. As the chapel doors swung open wide before us, to the sound of the Wedding March, my precious Stephanie looked at me and said, “Daddy, I want my marriage to be just like yours and Mommy’s.”

We’ve have our ups and downs like everybody, but we always loved the Lord together and each other, and you know what? Stephanie was watching. My wife Terri and I didn’t always agree but Stephanie was watching.

We faced heartache and loss, we laughed and cried, we did our best to honor God and each other; that was our vow before God and she was watching. They all are!

Pastor Tim Throckmorton leads Crossroads Church in Circleville, Ohio, and is an official on several ministry and civic boards, including the board of directors of the Family Policy Council of Ohio. A writer and radio commentator, he released a DVD project in 2010 called, “Lest We Forget,” a study of America’s godly heritage.

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