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What My Dad Gave Me

Monday, June 21, 2021

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matt. 7:11, NIV.

My dad gave me three gifts that prepared me for a happy, wholesome life. They didn't cost him any money—but today they're priceless treasures. The first: Dad gave me the feeling of being special. Second: He loved my mom. And third: He gave me the gift of optimism!

Three simple gifts, but they have made me what I am.

 Dad always thought I was special. I could tell by the way he winked at me from across the room or put his arm around me and gave me a squeeze in church. When I was a teen I worked in his manufacturing plant after school. He loved to say to the businesspeople who visited, "I'd like to have you meet my daughter."

And the last few days before he died he read my first book, Understanding Children, not because of his interest in the topic, but because of his interest in me!

The second gift Dad gave me was really loving my mom. When I close my eyes and think of Mom and Dad, I see her standing by the kitchen sink and Dad coming up behind her and putting his arms around her and hugging her. I love that picture.

And as far as optimism is concerned—perhaps that was his greatest gift of all. I don't remember Dad ever being discouraged, even though he struggled for 10 years to keep a manufacturing business alive, and finally, penniless, had to give up. He lost the company, but not hope, and went on to climb new mountains. Before long, Dad's real estate business became so successful he became known as "Humpal—The Mountain Man."

Dad was a dreamer. He always had a million projects tucked away in his head. "Now, someday I'm going to . . . ," he'd begin and would tell us a tiny piece of his dream. Sure enough, before long things would start to take shape.

Yes, Dad gave me three wonderful gifts that were the foundation of a good life, but none of them can compare with the gift my heavenly Father has given me: eternal life!

Your earthly father gave you the gift of life, but what else did he give? Why not thank him? And while you're at it, thank your heavenly Father for Jesus, the best gift of all, for without Jesus there would be no eternal life!

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.