My child was right. I wasn’t paying enough attention to her. As it was — this happened about a year ago, now — she was beginning to show some signs of jealousy since I was always taking my son out, and I was seeming to neglect her. How come?
As it turns out, when I was just a young boy, my dad would prefer me. Or, I might even say, he didn’t prefer women (that might be because he had a bad relationship with at least one of his sisters, I am not sure). So it seemed that I got a little more attention than did my two other sisters. It was something perhaps of that “male thing,” where the dad seems to want to prefer his son, rather than show an equal amount of interest in his wonderful, young daughters, as well. It’s too bad though. I’m sure that if my dad had to do it over again, he would spend a lot more time with his two beautiful daughters.
One of them, of course, to this very day (she is now 37 years old) despises him and won’t even speak to him. The bitterness is so bad, she is actually physically crippled by it and hasn’t walked in three whole years — arthritis since she was 14. Lately, she had to get both of her knees, and both of her hips replaced. That made me cry. I felt so helpless. I felt useless. I felt like I had failed. God spoke to me, though, one night after crying myself to bed.
Here’s what happened (listen up). During that night, I had this wonderful, supernatural, dream. It was really neat! In the dream, I was sitting at the dinner table of these two older people — a beautiful, wonderful, fantastic, fun to be around, godly, sincere, older couple. I wondered (after waking up) if these people might even be symbolic of a type of beautiful picture of God. You know what it says: He made them male and female. So, within the male and female, God is represented — especially when these people are truly godly. There are different facets represented in each, of course, and this is beautiful.
As a result of the dream, I wondered, “Oh my goodness, these people were so absolutely wonderful. Did they somehow represent God Himself and His beautiful qualities of being the perfect parent?” I was exhilarated by the dream — because it was so personal, and it was no doubt “illumined” and “given” by God Himself. I knew that God had spoken to me. Somehow, He was blessing me — trying to impart a message to me. Now I had to listen. What was He trying to say? Soon, I would find out.
A few weeks went by and my wife and I went on vacation (this was last summer, 1997). While on vacation, we visited a wonderful fairly young (early 40s) Christian couple (friends of ours). It probably wasn’t more than a few minutes that we had been there, and their doorbell rang. “Ding dong.” A few seconds later, John (my friend, with whom we were staying) said to me, “Danny, some friends of ours have just returned this to us. Perhaps it is providential (i.e. perhaps God was trying to speak through this circumstance). Maybe you should watch it.”
“It” was a videotape which John had lent out some time earlier to these people who had just returned it. Feeling a sense of confidence (for some reason) that this indeed might be “God,” my wife and I sat down to watch the video. The video was the first video in a 6-video tape series entitled, “The Life,” by Bill and Anabel Gillham. It was all about how to live the Christian life — the answer being, of course, not with a sense of despair, but by understanding what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross, and being able to properly appropriate that in our inner beings (through understanding). We don’t need to despair. We can rest in Christ’s forgiveness. We are forgiven. MOVE ON!
After the second taped session (I think it was), the wonderful lady in that series (Anabel) came on the screen and spoke directly into the camera (i.e. TV screen facing me). She spoke so well, so gently, so humbly, so lovingly. I don’t think I remember anyone at all speaking that beautifully, ever in my whole entire life on this earth! Just as she was winding down her summary of how we can have victory by truly resting in the fact that Jesus Christ has forgiven us, it just “dawned on me, like that.” … T-H-I-S was the lady that God showed me in the dream I had a few weeks back, after crying myself to sleep, and her husband Bill, H-E was the man! It was T-H-E-I-R table I was eating around. The “table” was a symbolic “table” meaning I was “partaking of their food.” Now, by God’s design, I was “partaking of their teaching,” which, to God, was “real meat and solid food.” Thank God for people like this (I highly recommend you purchase this six tape series especially if you are in ministry and can show it to many people. See them at http://www.lifetime.org/).
What was God’s message in all of this? Pretty clear. “Don’t worry about it, Danny. You’ve been cleansed by my precious blood. I know the whole story — the beginning from the end. You’ve got a mandate to perform. Don’t let anyone, or anything, or any thought of failure, which the enemy may try to put upon you, drag you down into the doldrums. Again, I know the beginning from the end.” I sensed a wonderful “providence” in all of this. And I can rest in that, whatever my past has been like.
As to my own children right now, I can tell you for sure, that I do my best not to show partiality. When my daughter is older (she is now 2) and when my son is older, too, (he is now 4), I want them to be able to look back and say, “Yes, daddy, you were standing there for us the whole time. Thank you.”