day I was born, said my father, said he
I've an elegant legacy waitin' for ye
‘Tis a rhyme for your lips and a song for your heart,
To sing it whenever your world falls apart.
I can hear Petula Clark singing these lyrics from Finian's Rainbow. (Josh Grobin chose another song from that musical for his newly released "STAGES" album.)
As "heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17) children of the King do indeed have an elegant legacy! It grieves me that even among those who have put their trust in Christ as Saviour and Lord, too many are not enjoying the riches of their inheritance.
It was when her world fell apart that Irish Beth Maddock from Calgary, Alberta, found the love that would bring much needed healing, transforming her heart and life. Her world was shattered in childhood, when her mother abandoned the family in Vernon, B.C., leaving their father to raise Irish (age 4) and her one year-old brother. It's shocking to think of little ones left to fend for themselves for hours at a time. But at age 27, the love of the Father, whom Jesus called "Abba"—Daddy, reached a desperate broken soul. June 9th on 100 Huntley Street, Irish was a portrait of peace, secure in the unfailing love of her Heavenly Father.
She said, "God intervened. He came and parented me out of very hard places. To my surprise, what came out was new and shiny and redeemable. God was there in all our adventures, in all our loneliness and sadness."
The promise of Psalm 27:10 is a delight in every translation:
"Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me." (NIV)
"Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close." (NLT)
"For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in." (ESV)
"For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up." (NASB)
"Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord cares for me." (HCSB)
"Though my father and my mother abandoned me, the Lord gathers me up." (ISV)
Irish is living an overflowing life from what once was a dead and deeply damaged heart. She and her husband Paul have a lovely daughter named Eden. What a celebration of Paradise restored.
Over many years of interviewing guests with personal faith stories, I've frequently observed a tragic transference by those whose earthly Dads disappointed, deserted, or dealt harshly with them; as a result they expected the same from the Heavenly Father. In some cases, a distorted theology plunges the believer into a crisis of faith, when multiplied trials cause them to question God's love and goodness.
The outcome however, no matter how long the process, always proves 2 Timothy 2:13:
If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny who He is.
In fact, the epiphany usually prompts a book. The author is compelled to share the wondrous discovery of a love that never let them go, and a deepened walk with the Father they trust and enjoy more than they can ever imagined.
"THE WORLD'S BEST DAD" LOVES YOU TO DISTRACTION!
He sent His only Son to pay the penalty of all our sin and rebellion, so that we could freely come into the Father's embrace, and all He has lovingly planned for us.
I am speaking from my own experience! My world crumbled at age 16, when my Dad died suddenly at 47 with a heart attack. It was unexpected and devastating, leaving a 39 year-old widow and six children adrift—without an anchor for our lives.
That's when my Heavenly Father took me up, and guided me all the way to His loving arms. He made me His child and heir of all He is, when I received the gift of His Son Jesus. And I "know how dearly God loves (me), because He has given (me) the Holy Spirit to fill (my) heart with His love." Romans 5:5 NLT
He put a song in my heart. And even now, I think I can hear Him singing…
"He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." Zephaniah 3:17 NLT