HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
The humility that brings transformation
This is how I’ve experienced it firsthand from my loving father.
I grew up as the second youngest in a family of 11 children. Most people look at me in disbelief when I tell them this. Now, as an adult looking back, it is amazing to think about how my parents managed to not only simply “raise” us, but to create a home which was filled with rest, love and laughter where we felt like the luckiest children in the whole wide world. Even though they have been called from works unto reward, the remaining siblings continue to reminisce on our growing up days.
Today is Father’s Day. Many verses come to mind when I think about my Father but I think the verse that underlines his life is James 4:6. “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
What brains can’t buy
God isn’t partial. He doesn’t give grace based on intelligence, wealth and accomplishments but based on one thing only, and that is humility. That is quite something to swallow for a man with a level of intelligence as high as my Father’s. But this is God’s law and my Father has taken this to heart.
Paul says, “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the… are called.” 1 Corinthians 1:26. Why does Paul say “not many?” Because for the most part, intelligent and capable people believe they can manage on their own and have no need for help from others, and definitely not from God. Because of that, God doesn’t help them and they go around year after year thinking nothing is wrong with them when in fact everything is.
God in his great goodness opened my Father’s eyes in his youth to see the truth – that all the riches and intelligence in the world cannot make a man like himself who is by nature boiling with anger, overflowing with pride, easily offended, and very strong-willed, into someone who is patient, humble and selfless. He needed God’s help.
Grace to change
The result of being humble is that you get close to God. He opens your eyes so that you can see how you really are. And not only that, He gives you help so that your nature can actually change! It’s not a work that happens overnight or by magic. It requires that one chooses to give up one’s own very strong will to do God’s will and His Word in the small details every day.
My Father has worked with himself constantly and the change we have seen in him is a result of an inner battle and many prayers to God every single day. My Father’s nature was a plague for him and he knew it caused unrest and difficulties for those around him, not least himself. For me, seeing the transformation in my Father’s life is proof that the gospel that Jesus preached is possible to live and is one hundred per cent true.
A servant’s mind
We who know my Father experience a gentle, generous, warm, compassionate, patient, loving, hardworking, loyal man who can easily give up his own will. He puts the needs and concerns of others above his own, and he sees other people as a blessing that he owes goodness to, not a burden.
No matter what pressure or workload my Father faced, I never heard him say that he was too busy for us. He used dinner time to share his experiences or stories from his travels and always made sure that this was a highlight of the day. After dinner, we sat around him again, this time to hear about his parents and how he can make life better for us. He used all the little opportunities and went out of his way to make home fun and festive, bless us daily in word, in action, and not least, in prayer.
There is no task at home or otherwise, that is too lowly for my Father. If he can help Mom, his children, his friends or colleagues – that is his great joy. He has a heart full of compassion for the weak, the poor, the suffering, and the lonely. He despises no one but carries people on his heart daily. Although he doesn’t talk about the good he has done, many have told me how my Father has been an enormous support to them in their times of need. He was a merciful man – he saw clearly the mistakes he himself has made in life and understood that God has forgiven him much, so the least he can do is to show others mercy.
Love for God
Whenever he was home he would remind us to go to Sunday School and to be respectful to others. He saw that he couldn’t manage the day without this kind of nourishment. My Father stood up for what is true and will defend God and His Word at all costs. He counts God-fearing people as the greatest people that have and will ever live. He loved his family and his friends but above all He loves God.
Every day, and many times a day, my Father expressed his thanks to my Mother and tells her that she is the most beautiful woman. And he meant it. His love for her was obvious and it grew. There will not be another with them here, except the memories that we have in our hearts. He has gone to be with the Lord fifteen years ago. He would often say that one of the great mysteries in his life is how a man like him could get such a good wife. My mother was an incredible woman, but this also speaks volumes about my Father and how he thought about himself.
So, thanks to my Father for teaching us that true Christianity is to be humble. You were a changed man because of the gospel that has worked in you for years and continues to work in your children every single day. At 62 years old I am far from satisfied – on the contrary, more interested than ever to be humble, you have left us something, we received that grace and change so that you can be more like your Forerunner Jesus. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY IN HEAVEN.