I love Fall. It’s, hands down, my favorite of all the seasons. Football on a lazy Sunday. The crisp air that kisses your face when you step outside. Sweatshirts and jeans. The crunch of colorful leaves underneath your shoes. The steady crackling of a warm fire. S’mores under a darkened sky illuminated with brilliant stars. The intoxicating smell of pumpkin oozing out from every coffee shop within a three mile radius.
It’s the time of year when the windows can remain open almost the entire day. The steady sound of leaf blowers in the distance. The blanket of bright red and dazzling yellow that envelopes the mountains. The plume of breath that escapes your lips on the really cold mornings. Ahhhh…it’s so amazing in the Fall.
October is an incredible month, because I married the love of my life back in 1999. I was the guy who said he would never settle down and get married. Now, nearly 15 years and two kids later, I am blessed more than I could have ever dreamed.
It’s also a month marked by the everlasting stain of loss.
On October 14 2008, I lost my Dad. Hard to believe it’s been that long. I’ve changed allot during those years. I’ve grown spiritually, and many of the views and beliefs I used live by have radically shifted perspectives. For quite a while after Dad’s passing, I questioned God. I blamed God. I wondered how a God who is supposed to be love could rip my father away from us. Now I know the truth.
God didn’t take my Dad.
He received him, yes. But He did not take him.
The Bible is very clear that satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. The very same scriptures also point out that all GOOD things come from above. People will always go immediately to Job and quote “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.” Job honestly believed God was doing all those things to him, when in fact, He wasn’t at all. I don’t believe God is sitting up there playing games with our faith. It would be very hard to trust someone who says they love you, but at the same time makes you suffer. How could you ever trust someone like that?
One of satan’s biggest accomplishments is causing believers to blame God for everything. He wants us to be in a state of confusion when it comes to trusting God. He hopes we step into our secret place not with boldness, but with a divided heart. Part of it loving God, and the other part wondering why God is causing bad things to happen to us. Think about all the horrible things that have happened in your life. The stuff you blamed God for, or at the very least figured God was allowing to happen to teach you something. Wouldn’t your relationship with Him be even more incredible if you just let it go and realized there is an enemy roaming this earth trying to destroy you?
I expect many of you will not agree with my last two paragraphs, and that’s okay. I’m not here to debate and argue about these things. What you believe is entirely between you and God. As Christians, it’s our job to love people, pray for people, and speak truth when we can. We aren’t here to beat people in the head with a Bible and accuse them of having false beliefs. We weren’t created by God to fight with people. Jesus paid much too high a price for that. It’s up to the Holy Spirit to bring about conviction and repentance. We sow seeds. Sometimes we are fortunate enough to have an opportunity to water those seeds. But we may never see them bloom into fruition.
I had the great blessing and opportunity of having an amazing earthly father. He was never shown love from his own father, but that didn’t carry over to me at all. I knew without a doubt that Dad loved me. He was my friend, my golf partner, and the man I went to for advice and guidance when I was growing up. There are memories, good memories, locked away in the vault of my mind that only myself and family will ever know about. Moments that were never documented on Facebook or Twitter. Images that will never see the scrolling pages of Instagram.
Sometimes we just need to create a memory for ourselves, and not ruin it with likes, shares, and hashtags.