What I Received And Learned From My Father

My father, Gerald Reagan, would never think of himself as a great father. While as with all of us he is not perfect, with every passing year I appreciate him even more. There were many things as a poor family he could not give me, but he managed to give me some incredibly wonderful things.

1. His Time
All of my growing up years when I was home from school and he from work, you would likely find us together. He has always been such a hard worker, and like any child I sometimes got tired of the work, but we were together. We have our memories too– copperheads, close calls with trees falling, me falling and sliding all the way down the mountain repeatedly during my clumsy teenage years. I never once in my life ever felt he was tired of me. It was never just a duty to him either. Years after I left home he told me how lonely he was when he went out to work without me. Sometimes when I go back to visit we go work–he runs the chainsaw and I pile the brush–just like always. Strangely, it refreshes me now.

2. His Support
He has always been on my side. He has always told me he believed in me. He told me to go to college when no one else in our family had ever been. He supported me later when the pastorate took me away and he wished I did not have to go. When I preach and he is there, or my kids sing, I usually see him crying. His support has always been so strong that I have always got the impression that my life is more important than his. It isn’t, of course, but he acts like it is. When I was growing up, I always felt safe as well. I knew if anyone ever tried to hurt me, they would have to deal with him. I never doubted for one second that he would lay his life down for mine.

3. His Unconditional Love

The best lesson for understanding our Heavenly Father’s love is an unconditional love from an earthly father. I have always found it easy to believe that God loved me because my Daddy did without fail. I truly believe that there is nothing I could do to erase that love. Others might be done with me, but his door, his table, and his love would always be there. That kind of love gives one a security and a strength that enriches your life beyond what words can express. If others’ love wavers, what a treasure to know of one whose will not.

Learning

I guess in receiving what I have from my father, I have learned what it takes to be a father. As I reflect on him, I feel that maybe I am not living up to his standard in these great categories. At least I know the way. May God help me to pass on to my children what my father did to me.

I love you Daddy. Happy Father’s Day.

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6 thoughts on “What I Received And Learned From My Father

  1. Pastor Reagan thanks for sharing this, it touched my heart. It sounds like our childhoods were similar. Now that my father is older, it is he that is stacking the brush, but with his tractor and I am the one running the chainsaw. And just like you said, yes it is work but it is a cherished time that we get to spend together. God bless you preacher!

  2. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

    My father was not perfect, but then who of us is perfect? One thing for certain, he did know how to give me the best gift possible. He took me to church where I heard the Gospel and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour. I am forever grateful that he cared enough to share the Gospel with me.

    I am also thankful for the time my father spent with us. He took us fishing and/or camping whenever time would permit. He taught me how to drive a truck and steer a boat, how to set up a campsite, how to survive if I ever got lost, but most importantly how to look at things. Dad removed the complexity of things by breaking them down into manageable elements. My father could fix or design anything.

    My brother and I sadly miss him every day and especially on Father’s Day. Dad went home to be with the Lord some years back, but we rejoice in the knowledge that our father was a saved man and we know that we shall see him again. We look forward to sitting by heaven’s pond and casting in a line as we once again enjoy time spent together.

    I thank God for every father who spends time with his children.

    Happy Father’s Day to my dad and every other father too!

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