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In Memory of My Dad

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In Memory of My Dad

Today is the birthday of my dad, my father-in-law, Kirt Mellberg who died a couple of years ago. In memory of him, I would like to repost what I wrote on the first anniversary of his death:

Our Wedding: Dad Signing the Marriage CertificateMy heart aches this morning. Waking up, unable to sleep, at 2:30 in the morning on this first anniversary of the death of my father-in-law, my dad, Kirt Mellberg, I praise God for this pain that I have. I praise God for the pain of the loss. In less than five short years of knowing him (less than four as his son-in-law), the number of memories that I have of him are great and in my memory of him I can remember nothing but great love. Here on earth he was so in love with Jesus and God the Father that I have no doubt that if he were here right now he would direct my heart not toward the hope that I would someday see him again and we could mutually enjoy presence and be reunited as a family in heaven. That is what was so sweet about him. He loved Jesus and because he loved Jesus he loved others especially his family. He would direct me to the hope of God my Savior and His love for me. In the last recording we have of him, he sang a song to his church and the city of Tepic, that he loved and to whom he spent 30 years bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that basically translates from Spanish: "When there's profound pain in my soul...I feel peace...your word enters into my being...Lord my God, my peace in the storm."   And the hope of that song is not that we feel some abstract peace, but a peace knowing God's love that will ultimately "deliver us to him." So I will take his advice and rejoice and find refuge in my God and Savior as his Word fills my being.  
How, even in the midst of my pain, could I ever doubt God's love in suddenly taking my dad home to heaven? "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8) "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God" (1 John 3:1). So today as I am filled with pain and I am tempted to question God in his decision, I will remind myself not only of Job 38:2-7, but also of the cross. I will talk to myself in my grief instead of listening to myself, and have joy in my grief.

My dad knew well (and now knows even better) the joy of being called God's son and was an embodiment of 1 John 3. Because he saw the love of the father in his adoption of us as sons he could imperfectly live out the faith-filled consequence of God's love for us: "Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth." And that love saturated his ministry, and I believe that it was that adoption-as-God's-son-motivated love that enabled him to so completely adopt me and my two sisters-in-law as children.

Family PictureHis family is a testimony to his legacy as well, so for my wife and for my brothers-in-law if you read this, I have this encouragement from Scripture that is applicable this day and every day: "Continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through Christ Jesus." All the much more when you remember dad, remember the legacy of faith that he left us all with and let's not abandon what he taught us and Words from God who he taught us to love.

I know that I have been anxious for this anniversary of his death to come. What do I say to my wife; how can I possibly be a comfort to her? I want to fill my mind with anything but the thought of the loss. But again, I will fill my being with His word and receive the peace promised, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:6-7).

So again, I thank God for His love for me and I thank God for my Dad, Kirt Mellberg, and his love for me, for my wife (his daughter), his wife, his family, and really the whole world. He is missed dearly because he was such a great gift from God to us. I will never be the same because of the influence he has had in my life. His legacy lives on in his family and through my mom's continued ministry in Tepic, working alongside the thousands of believers who have come to know God's love as a result of his faithful ministry in Tepic.

Update: Read my mom's account of how God used a trial to help her through the difficult day.
Even when life is hard, God is good, His grace is sufficient and His love abounds.
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Title: In Memory of My Dad
Date posted: 21 9 '07 - 16:29
Category: Miscellanies, Journal
Wordcount: 896 words
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