More From Bill Gosling

September 21, 2022 by Bill Gosling (Western Australia, Australia)

It has been over a year since I wrote since I wrote this devotion. Inevitably, my life has changed. Recently my father passed away. In my eulogy, I reflected on the blessing he had been to me and my family.

Whilst salvation is the ultimate gift, there are many other gifts in life. Both of my parents were certainly gifts to me. My mother was a believer, but my father never professed a faith. Ever since I became a believer, I felt what can best be described as a spiritual burden for my father. This only intensified with time. In my father’s last years, I openly talked to him about the Christian faith and salvation—something that I had been avoiding. I longed to see him come to faith, and I earnestly prayed with others for this outcome.

In his last week of life, I spent time by his bedside praying, talking to him, and reading scripture—specifically chapters 11 and 20 of the Gospel of John. My father became unresponsive, and I had to trust that he could still hear and recognize his son. I dreaded his death and was unsure how I would fair in the aftermath. When it finally came there was an intense outpouring of grief, and then I was filled with the most amazing peace.

I sought understanding from God about this radical shift, and I received insight. I believe the spiritual burden I felt was a motivator sent by God to prompt me to action while my father was alive. Once this season was over and that motivation was no longer required, God replaced it with peace—a peace that surpasses all understanding—to ensure that anxiety did not take hold of me. I still do not know if my father was saved, but I do know God’s peace in a much deeper way.

How like God! God did not give me what I asked for. But God did give me what I needed. I am ever so thankful that God, as the perfect father, answers not as we ask but as we need.

Let us be thankful for all the gifts in our lives but reserve our greatest thanks for the Giver of those gifts—God.

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