Sunday, August 23, 2009

Giving God Permission, Part One

My father was dying.

And I was not ready to lose him.

When we brought him to our home here in Dallas for what turned out to be the last fifteen days of his life, I did a little memory inventory. I found only two times—-one in my childhood and one in adulthood—-when my daddy and I were really upset with each other. It is always hard to part with a loved one, and I assure you it is especially hard to give up a relationship like that.

My being upset with God did not mean I was crying my eyes out during those fifteen days. In fact, I didn’t even cry when Daddy died, and I didn’t cry at the funeral. It was three weeks later before I finally broke down—-and then I cried so hard and so long that it took the chiropractor months to get my neck back the way it should be. And it was nine loooong months before I was able to say to God, “It’s okay that you took Daddy away.”

Obviously, God did not need my permission to take my father, and He clearly did not wait for any permission from me. So what’s the big deal about giving God permission? The big deal is what happened in my heart when I finally granted that permission. That was when healing of my pain could finally begin.

The above is the beginning of an oral devotional talk I have given in connection with my work of training missionaries. So what is it doing here? Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the first time God taught me this lesson about permission, and then I’ll tell you how it relates to my Tangled Strands novel.

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