For My Daddy Showed Me So

sacrifice for others

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. — 1 John 3:16

Several years ago Nancy wrote to tell me the deep struggles she and her husband wrestled with over placing their severely handicapped son, Brad, in a residential facility. Should they bring him home? Did the family have enough support?

I tried to give the family some tools to make those critical decisions, and she recently wrote back to express her appreciation. They’d made their decision; Brad was home again. “Joni,” she wrote, “incredible fruit has resulted in our lives from that decision. God used Brad to change my husband and me, helping us see the Lord in a way we never could have had Brad not lived in our midst.”

Nancy also enclosed a beautiful three-page tribute to her husband, written from Brad’s point of view. Every paragraph was a powerful testimony to a father’s flexibility, integrity, love, and devotion to his disabled child. Little Brad “wrote”:

Dad, I can’t give anything back to you except my smiles when I hear your voice, or my giggles when you whistle. I can’t even say, ‘I love you.’  But I think the best part of the tribute is the close: Maybe I can’t read the Bible, but I can ‘say’ Jesus loves me, this I know, for my daddy showed me so.

Greeting card makers employ countless poets and writers to come up with clever, funny, poignant, or romantic ways to say, “I love you; I’m thinking about you.” But God didn’t send a greeting card to show His love — He came Himself. He didn’t just tell us He loved us — He gave up His own life on our behalf. You can talk and sing about love until the cows come home. But at the end of the day, real love means sacrifice.

How can you show the love of Jesus today by what you sacrifice for another?

Thank you, God, for those who have showed me the true love of Christ by what they gave up to teach, encourage, help, and support me.

 * * *

Your Turn

“Real love means sacrifice”. That is a beautiful truth. Real love has a heavy price, like the perfume that Mary used to wash Jesus’ feet with her hair in John 12:3. Think about Joni’s question. How can you show the love of Jesus today by what you sacrifice for another? How would you like to thank your heavenly Father this Father’s Day weekend for His ultimate display of love for us in the sacrifice of his son?

Joni Eareckson Tada

Joni Eareckson Tada is founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, an organization that accelerates Christian outreach in the disability community. Joni and Friends provides practical support and spiritual help to special needs families worldwide, and equips thousands of churches in developing disability ministry. Joni is the author of numerous best-selling books, including When God Weeps, Diamonds in the Dust, A Lifetime of Wisdom, and A Step Further, winner of the Gold Medallion Award. Joni and her husband, Ken, have been married for over 30 years.

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