Psalm 19 always makes me think of my dad, Paul Conrad. Before my dad would preach, he would pray the Psalm’s last verse, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight, Oh Lord. Our strength and our redeemer. Amen.”
For my dad, this prayer served two purposes. First, it was a spiritual way to focus on the task of preaching to the congregation. Second, and most importantly, it was to put all his trust in God.
My dad was never at a loss for words, especially when it came to God. He knew and believed with all his heart that God was “true and righteous” (v. 9) and would provide. He knew that God was always with him as he prayed and reflected on the Scriptures. He also knew that God was with him and within him as he spoke the Word. Through God, my dad had an incredible faith. A faith he loved to talk about and share with everyone.
My dad passed away in 2010, but to this day, he is still teaching me how to trust God with all my heart. There are days when I hit a “spiritual speedbump” and my faith in God is not as strong as I would like for it to be. When those days hit me, my dad’s prayer speaks loudest to me. For it is in those dark moments that God truly provides strength through the memories my dad and I made together. Those memories are filled with adventures and a lot of love. A LOT of love. When I remember the love my dad and I shared, I give thanks to God for that love and for the support God has given me through my dad, my mom, my friends and family. I not only give thanks, I live out my thanks by putting my trust in God, knowing that God is always with me.
Even during my speedbumps.
Is there a Bible passage that always makes you think of a loved one?
How does God speak to you during your “spiritual speedbumps”?
The Rev. Jonathan P. Conrad is the Senior Pastor at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wilmington, NC. He enjoys reading mysteries and playing golf. He is the proud husband of Kristen, the joyful father of Paul and Madelyn, and the blessed son of Paul and Kay Conrad.