Dawn Tolbert

Writer
#366Days

Refuge #366Days Day 291

“Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go.” Psalm 71:3

Yesterday morning, at just before 3 a.m., my sister called to tell me Daddy was gone. I stumbled into clothes, sobbed on Larry’s shoulder and rushed out the door telling Larry I would see him at my parents’ house in a few minutes. 

I felt panic as I stepped off our front doorsteps and onto the sidewalk, but as I rounded the turn toward the car, the night sky caught my attention. 

Orion, the hunter, was stretched out in the eastern sky, and the stars seemed to sparkle extra brightly. And my mind was instantly filled with the words from 1 Thessalonians that say we shouldn’t mourn as those who have no hope — because we know the end of the story. 

Death doesn’t win. This loss is not the final word. 

I miss my daddy, and I know that I have only begun to know what that feels like. I know it’s okay to mourn. But I know and believe that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. I know that Daddy put his faith and trust in God who reveals himself to us as the Rock of Ages, the Mighty Fortress, the Prince of Peace, and the Comforter. 

I know that Daddy took great comfort in the words of Psalm 71, especially in the past several years. David, in his latter years, wrote these words, and they are such a comfort. Verse 14 says, “But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.”

That’s the kind of life my daddy lived, and I am so thankful for the example he set for me. I pray for strength to follow that example during these difficult days. 

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