1 Thing Dad’s Death Taught Me About Life

Psalm 139

Dad fell while washing his hands in the office restroom. He gained consciousness and slowly rose from the grey tile floor. Confused. Scared. Bruised. He called a cab from his cell to drive him to the emergency room. They inspected his body with a glance and hurried listening, then wrote a script for antibiotics.

“Maybe it’s an ear infection,” The doc said.

A couple weeks later, his morning alarm beeped and he rolled over to slide into his house slippers—but half of his body wouldn’t roll. He told mom to call 911, thinking he had a stroke while sleeping.

1 Thing Dad's Death Taught Me About Life

Photo thanks to Unsplash

Paramedics sirened him to the hospital down the street, where an MRI highlighted a large tumor in his brain: non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

About three months later he died while I held his hand and sang Amazing Grace.

I was 27, newly engaged—and fatherless.

  • Dad was supposed to walk me down the isle.
  • Dad was supposed to help us unpack boxes in our first home.
  • Dad was supposed to push his grandkids on the swings and listen to them belly laugh.
  • Dad was supposed to be there for me. I needed him. I wanted him.

I felt like an abandoned little girl, holding onto a worn one-eyed stuffed bunny, gazing out the window, hoping daddy would come home.

Dad’s death swirled me with guilt.

  • What if I researched his cancer more?
  • What if I got him to a different hospital?
  • What if he tried different medicine?
  • What if I asked more questions?

Did I fail my dad? Did I fail God?

In many hours of sorrow, I consumed the scriptures like they were a bowl of chocolate fudge ice-cream.

Psalm 139 surprised me.

The words of the song unswirled the guilt.

… all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

And sometime later I also read from Job 14:5

A person’s days are determined;

you have decreed the number of his months

and have set limits he cannot exceed.


  • God numbered our days before we breathed one. I have no power over when Dad’s time would come.
  • I have no power over when mine will come.
  • Not only does this truth release us from the guilt of “what-ifs”, it also highlights the delicacy of time.
  • We only have one portion of time in our lives, but we don’t know how big our portion is.

For You To Think About:

Question: Are you living your portion of time for yourself? Or are you submitted to God’s plans for your life—no matter what that looks like? Pray about this. You only have one portion of time. How are you spooning it out? To leave a comment, just click here.

Whatever is True-psalm 139

photo thanks to unsplash


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