My father left quite a legacy for my brothers and me. He served with distinction in the Navy during World War II. He modeled devotion in the 54 years of marriage to our mom and he had just completed 50 faithful years in ministry when he transitioned from this temporal world to his eternal reward. My dad was a kind, generous and godly man. I even got a little of his gray hair and his love for southern cooking, especially grits and hush puppies! His love for buttermilk and cornbread though, did not get passed down through the genes.
Occasionally, I am reminded of my dad’s most famous story (told before the Foursquare convention in Charlotte, N.C.) of his leaving a camp service when he was young in the ministry. He was so full of faith following one particular message that he ran off the end of a pier fully believing he could walk on water! He plunged to the bottom of the lake—but in his mind, this wasn’t failure because he was responding to a newfound courage. As a son, I am proud that my dad would be that bold and that transparent, first to run off the pier and then, years later, to share the story with his fellow ministers.
People have always responded to the miraculous in differing ways:
- Wary because they were skeptical: Jesus raises the young girl from death. “But they laughed at him.” (Matthew 9:24 NIV)
- Worried because they felt threatened: Jesus heals the demon-possessed man. “They were afraid … then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave …” (Mark 5:15, 17 NIV)
- Wondering because it exceeded their human limitations: Jesus calms the storm. “They were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this?'” (Matthew 8:27 NIV)
- Worshipful because it was the only appropriate response: Jesus heals the paralytic. “When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God.” (Matthew 9:8)
This Father’s Day, three sons from the Tar Heel State still believe that their father walked on water. His clothes might have needed to be hung out on the clothesline to dry, but he left a clear message: “Get out of the boat!”
Happy belated Father’s Day!
“At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come mightily upon you, and you will prophesy with them and you will feel and act like a different person.” -1 Samuel 10:6 (TLB)
By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor