Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The Father on this Pilgrimage

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Father’s Day is Sunday. My children’s father has always exhibited the characteristics of a godly father. But I’m just going to tell you that it’s the 63-year-old father, even more than the 36-year-old one  that really shows the stuff he’s made of. “Sandwich generation” was never a more fitting description for anyone than it has been the last two years for Glenn Colley. Caring for his father till his death last fall and continuing to care for his mother as she suffers from deep and progressive dementia, of course, was/is enough—enough in every physical, spiritual, and emotional way. He cleared out a large house with 60-plus years worth of sentimental possessions, had yard sales, protected their nest egg from scammers, and moved them—three times, virtually alone.

But, on the other side of the sandwich, during those same months, this father, with the help of many of God’s people in two cities, has moved a family of four—four times! These moves have been, by far, the hardest ones, because mixed in with the physical exhaustion, has been extreme emotional pain, intense spiritual seeking and dependence, and providing the only soft space on earth for this mom and grandmother. And while he has done all of these heart-breaking (and back-breaking) things, he’s preached the Word of God upwards of 200 times, helped organize and made a trip to the Bible Lands, sat down and talked with scores of people who have sought his counsel, and helped provide accountability for several people who are breaking habits, dependencies and addictions. I know this is HOW he has done it, but he has also spent many, many hours in earnest prayer though these years. I should add that he has done all of this in the face of some pretty potent criticism from a very few people—but people for whom he deeply cares. I’ve watched him examine and re-examine his motives and actions, always striving to bring his life into conformity with Christ in every way. He would be the first to tell you that he is always in need of the mercy and grace extended in his behalf at Calvary. 

Yesterday, we went together to see someone who seems to be in the process of walking away from the Lord. I watched him balance, as on a tight wire, the tasks of taking every personal insult with grace and credibility, while not giving any space for the insults being hurled at the Word of God. Humility and confidence are not easily mixed, but I have watched the mixture of personal humility and unflinching confidence in the Will of God become a conduit for the Word to work in many lives through this man. 

Now, you are thinking, and I am knowing—I am biased. I have been the one walking beside him for 43 years! I love him and so I am bound to praise and honor him. That’s true. I am him and he is me: one flesh. As his wife, I have probably been more frustrated, angrier, more critical at times, and even more hurt by this good man than anybody on the planet…because he is a man. But every flaw, every aggravation, every mistake and every sin serves to make me love Jesus more—for his leaving heaven, living as a man, and dying on the cross, so that after waking up beside a good, but not perfect, human for this lifetime, I will one day wake up in a place where the heavenly Father has completely perfected this father of my children. And I will see him with perfected eyes. Though we will not be married, I will love him perfectly!

Praise God for the Christian father in your life. If you do not have one, praise Him for the privilege of being a child of the ultimate Father who can redeem every hurtful thing in your life. Glenn Colley is the father who has sheltered and moved us around on this pilgrimage toward heaven. But that Father has moved us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His dear Son.. He shelters, loves, listens and answers our heavenward pleadings. He has a forever home waiting for Glenn and Cindy Colley. He is the Father of mercies. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort…(2 Corinthians 1:3).

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