We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Daddy, Come Push Me!

“Daddy, come and push me!” When my daughter was about 8 years old she would often call for me to push her on the rope swing. She could stretch the rope all the way to the porch and jump off–swinging high into the air–and then hit the tree with her feet, spinning like a top.

It wasn’t often that I could push her, as I was in seminary full time and also raising 70 sheep and 22 horses. Trying to give my children the perfect childhood and at the same time accomplish my career goals with my Type A personality took a toll on my health. Anger started to surface and as my health started to deteriorate, I found myself demanding more from my family to help with the chores and demands of the farm. I ended up with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, ulcerative bleeding colitis, and severe depression. God was slowly removing my ability to control anything so that I would learn to be totally dependent upon Him. I knew in my head that unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain who build it, but this truth hadn’t reached my heart yet.

My health continued to deteriorate, and I finally reached a point where I could hardly get out of bed. I will never forget the calls of her childhood–“Daddy, please come and push me.” I didn’t have the energy–I would give her a quick push and that’s all I could muster. It took thirteen years for me to learn that His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. When I finally gave God back the reigns of my life, my health was restored. On Jennifer’s 16th birthday, I built a rope swing in her bedroom. It’s still up today and serves as a reminder that it’s “. . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD . . . .”