Today is my papa’s birthday. This would have been a big one to celebrate: 90 years. How I miss him, especially today.
The fact that he was 83 when he passed is no small miracle. As a quadriplegic for over 25 years (12 as a bedfast quad), Papa’s doctors couldn’t believe it when he turned 70! Then 75! Then 80!
Celebrating Papa’s birthday was always a Big Deal because each day of his life truly was a gift. The festivities usually lasted the whole month of October with celebratory meals, special visits from friends and family, myriad cards and calls from afar.
Those October celebrations are now treasured memories, but I never will forget the way Papa approached life each day. He always said, “My blessings outweigh my challenges.”
Although he was in intense pain 24/7 and couldn’t move anything (even to wipe his nose) Papa had such gratitude. Not a day went by he didn’t thank us, profusely, and tell us how much he loved us.
This morning in church thinking about Papa it clicked: his life demonstrated GRACE. Yes, he was also filled to overflowing with the love of Jesus, but day in and day out he dealt with pain, loss of mobility, and complete dependence on God and others with abounding grace.
To honor his 90th birthday, here’s something Papa taught me and many others about grace.
Papa broke down this verse this way:
“God is able to make all grace (not just a little bit of grace), abound (not just trickle), toward you (not just your pastor and missionaries, but toward you), that you (Paul repeats you for emphasis), always (not just sometimes), having all sufficiency (not just some sufficiency), in all things (not just some things), may abound (not just limp along), unto every good work (not just some good works.)”
grace, peace & celestial cake
Virginia : )