My father died at the end of my sophomore year of high school. He was the most important person in my life, and suddenly he was gone. I didn’t really know God, but I was mad at Him nonetheless. I was confused at why and how He would let this happen.
If you’ve ever lost a parent or someone close to you, then you know the overwhelming void that’s created as a result. But thankfully, during that time a couple of men stepped up and loved me well—they were like father figures to me.
The first was a man named Roy Silver, who took me into his Christian academy. It was a place where I could play baseball late into the night. Hitting in that batting cage and knocking baseballs into the night’s sky was like my therapy.
The second was Darren Roberts, a player in the Florida Marlins organization and an incredible servant. During that time, Darren loved me so much that it made me curious about him and his faith.
Over dinner one night, Darren listened to my story. He listened with his eyes—like a good father would. Then, he began telling me about a different Father—One who loved me unconditionally and offered free grace. Darren told me that there was nothing I could do to earn this Father’s love. It was already mine to receive.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” —Ephesians 2:8-9
I was blown away. In a world, where you have to earn everything, I was being confronted with a Gospel telling me that there’s nothing I can do to earn this free gift!
He pointed me to Romans 10:9, which says “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
That’s exactly what I did that night. I confessed Christ as my Savior and accepted His free gift of salvation.
Darren didn’t stop there. He kept walking with me as my heart began to radically change. Every step of the way, Darren’s love pointed me toward my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” —1 Peter 1:3
I still miss my earthly father every day but am so grateful that I have an eternal Father in Christ that will never leave me or forsake me! Praise God for being a Father to the Fatherless!
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