Monday, September 14, 2015

Fill Their Treasuries

I was raised by a man who was well-traveled. My father's work took him around the globe, and he never ceased to be amazed by his adventures. But the continent of Europe always held a special place in his heart. For years he corresponded with a German pastor who had come to a living faith long after he became a pastor in the State-sponsored church. My Dad often dreamed about the possibility of moving to Europe to start small group Bible Studies or even house churches. While he had a vision for what could be--he never received a Call. And so he remained faithful to the Call God had given him--serving in the local church, teaching Junior High Sunday School, leading Agape Groups, chairing Elder Boards, fathering his daughters (and countless numbers of their friends), and loving his wife.

When I tell people about our call to mission service in France, I often explain that I have the sense that my Father's heart is beating in me as I live out this call. And I never get the feeling that Dad was disappointed wth his own call--he served (and continues to serve) with joy and grace and passion. Yet, he can hardly talk about what I am doing in France without tears in his eyes. Part of that is simply a Father's pride. But most of it is a sense of fulfillment. The vision he had is being fulfilled, and as God's vision for Europe moves towards a time of great fruitfulness, Dad delights to watch it happen. My participation just gives him a front row seat to the action.  

Still, I couldn't help but wonder for the past five years if Dad was experiencing regret. Did he wish it had been his call? Today I have a new insight.

One of my sons is writing a book. This morning I received a draft of the preface, and as I read it my eyes welled up with tears. It's brilliant, real, and profound. I have dreamed my whole life of writing a book, but as I read the words written by my son, I knew deep in my soul that he would be the first one in the family to publish a book. And in the same moment, I realized that the thought of my son publishing a book brought me much MORE joy and satisfaction than the thought of publishing one myself. 

Similarly, there was a time when David dreamed of being a surgeon. Clearly, that was not God's call on his life. But this morning we sent one of our boys off to his first day of medical school. The thought of his son becoming a doctor brings David much MORE joy and satisfaction than the thought of becoming one himself ever had. 

Which makes me think of King David, and his vision to build a Temple for the God he dearly loved. There is no doubt that the vision was God inspired--but the call would belong to another. It was David's son Solomon who saw the vision come to fruition. But David played his part. He recognized that God had not called him to build  the temple, but God did give him the joy and the privilege of gathering supplies. For years King David procured materials and built up storehouses so that when the time was right, Solomon had everything that he needed to build the temple. The vision was so sure in David's heart, that he planned for it to become a reality even though he himself would never see it.

My Dad gave me storehouses of resources that are fueling the work that I get to do. It is out of those storehouses that I find my own sense of joy, grace, and passion for my call. And I can only hope that my sons are as richly supplied. For this is the best inheritance we can give.

Parents of little ones--think even now about the storehouses you are filling--for it may be your babies that will live out your God-inspired vision. Are you equipping them for task?

I walk in the path of righteousness,

in the pathway of justice,
that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
and that I may fill their treasuries.
Proverbs 8: 20-21

1 comment:

  1. Your church building, bible study work with David is such a blessing to those you serve! You are right, I know this is an extension of my heart for winning Europeans to Jesus. Because it will fill their families and lives with this joy we share!