What a Weekend of Work With My Father Taught Me About My Heavenly Father

This past weekend my dad drove down from Sacramento and together we spent the weekend tackling several construction projects on my condo in order to prepare our home for the arrival of Buzzard baby #2. Over the course of two days we: installed a new pine-paneled ceiling in the boys’ room (above pic), installed a series of cabinets in the boys’ room that my dad had built, repaired our broken deck, and installed a garbage disposal under the kitchen sink.

Unlike me, my dad is extremely “handy”–he’s very good at building and fixing stuff. And, unlike me, my dad is a quiet man. His teaching style is different from mine. He doesn’t first explain to you how exactly he’s going to go about ripping the existing ceiling out of your son’s room and how he intends to erect a new ceiling in its place. Without a word, my dad just starts ripping, sawing, and nailing.

My dad doesn’t share his plan.

And this tempts me to think that my dad doesn’t have a plan, that he doesn’t know what he’s doing and that he’s going to make a mess of my home. There were at least 10 moments this past weekend where I anxiously questioned my dad’s wisdom (Are you sure that’s the right kind of lumber to use for the deck? Are you sure we’re putting up this ceiling up correctly? Don’t those cabinets need a few more screws to hold them up? Why’d you throw that away, don’t we still need that? etc…).

With each question, my dad simply asked me to trust him. And, every single time, whether it was 30 minutes or 3 hours later, I’d look at our finished work and realize that my dad knew exactly what he was doing.

And I’m beginning to think that my dad knows exactly what he’s doing by not sharing his construction plans with me ahead of time. I’m beginning to think my dad knows all about my unhealthy need to have everything explained to me ahead of time, to have all the plans laid out. I’m beginning to think that my dad has known this for a very long time. I’m beginning to think that, even though I turn 30 in a month, my dad still likes being my dad and teaching his son how to trust him. I’m beginning to think my dad is a lot smarter than me. I’m beginning to think that I’m finally beginning to learn how to trust…how to trust my earthly father and how to trust my Heavenly Father.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Justin:
    You’ve discovered a very important lesson that it took me far too long to realize. My Dad was also very “handy”–he was a master carpenter by trade (kind of intimidating, there, ya know?). He wasn’t a big talker, and wasn’t a “teacher” in any formal sense of the word.
    Because I thought I knew it all thru high school and my 20-somethings, I missed so much my Dad could have taught me. It wasn’t really until the last 10 years of his life that we had much of a relationship at all.
    My Dad’s been with the Lord 11 years now. And there’s not a day that goes by without drawing on the things I learned–more caught than taught–from him.
    Cherish those times together. They are eternally instructive.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great article! I appreciate your insights. Your dad is a special man. Every day this week, Cru has pointed up in his bedroom and said, “Ceiling, Boppa, Daddy.” (Boppa=Grandpa)
    This mama is so excited by the marvelous & numerous home improvements. Bring on Baby Buzz #2!

  3. That is a great analogy! Very helpful for others of us who have the strong, silent types for fathers and can learn to appreciate that more as a parallel of our Heavenly Father. :)

  4. Wow… this is the most “real” post I have read on your blog. I love it. Thanks for sharing with everyone.
    And man, the guys’ room DOES look great. Praise God for that garbage disposal with a second kid coming- ya need it!

  5. What a great analogy, Justin! If more people (believers and non-believers alike) could attain this same perspective, a lot of hearts and minds can begin to grasp what a relationship with Him really means.
    Hope you don’t mind, but I used the facebook link to post it for friends to read. It’s there for a reason, right?

  6. Justin great post. I believe God is teaching me many of those same lessons right now about trust and obedience. And of course, these are ultimately related to my understanding of his perfect goodness and beautiful plans.

  7. Justin,
    When you stop and think about it..it’s really amazing how God through His Holy Spirit can teach us things about ourselves and at the same time His character through seemingly benign circumstances. I give you praise too for faithfully walking by the Spirit in order to recognize His ways of growing and maturing us more to the image of His Son.
    It is my prayer that through this one experience that God would use it as a memorial stone in several ways:
    1) That you would appreciate and be grateful to your earthly father and to never take him for granted.
    2) That you would thank your heavenly father for it is He who provided you with such a caring, skilled and wonderful dad.
    3) That you would model to Cru and “Soe” characteristics of both your fathers.
    I thank you for being much more an encouragment to me than you’ll ever know.

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