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Commentary: I will always miss my mom and dad

In December, I drove to Alexandria, Minn., to meet with a successful businessman. In 1979, he purchased a company with a few employees in central Minnesota and now has nearly 200. I got to know him when we served together on the board for a regional nonprofit. He is a great guy, very wise, with a deep love for the Lord and for people. I enjoyed learning from him as we served on this board together.

Last November, I asked him if he and his wife would be interested in investing financially to help Prairie Heights expand within and beyond Fargo-Moorhead to help more people find hope in Christ. They were interested, so they came to Fargo on a Sunday morning to observe a service, take a tour, and have lunch together. At lunch, we agreed to meet in Alexandria and talk specifics.

During our conversation he shared that his dad died seven years ago and his mom passed away one year later. I asked him if he still missed them and he nodded yes. He asked me about my parents, and I told him my mom passed away a year and a half ago and my dad died when I was a year old. I shared how I've grieved the loss of my dad in recent years.

At this point, we looked at each other and there we were; two grown men at Perkins restaurant in Alexandria with tears in our eyes because our moms and our dads aren't physically here with us. No more visits, phone calls, hugs or "I love you."

He looked at me and said, "Doesn't it seem strange, Jon, that two men in their 50s both successful in life and in their careers miss their mom and dad? I could see if we were little kids at our first day of school or away at Bible camp for the first time. But, at our age?"

There was silence. I had no answer. And then he said, "Jon, that desire to be relationally close to our parents is put in us by God. It is in every person and will always be there. That is another reason why I believe we were created by God for friendship with God. Whenever I miss my parents, I am reminded that God wants me to be close to him."

I believe we all have a desire to be relationally close to our parents and to our creator. The fact is, our sin has cut us off from God. There is a gap that can only be filled through the forgiveness of and belief in Jesus Christ. Had Jesus said "No thanks" to his father's request to invade this earth we would have no way to be close to our creator.

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. What would it look like for you to receive Christ in 2018?

God bless you.

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