A Father’s Promise

by John Bishop, Family Pastor


This past weekend, Pastor Steven entrusted me to preach a Father’s Day message at the Matthews location.  I wrapped up my message with a story that I found about a Father who made a promise to his son.  I wanted to post the story here because as parents, it’s important to remember the great privilege we have to raise our kids.  I believe this story will renew your desire to be a godly parent to your children.

There was a massive earthquake in Armenia a few years ago that killed 30,000 people in four minutes.  In the middle of all the resulting chaos, a father rushed to his son’s school.  When he got there he saw the building completely demolished by the earthquake.

Standing there looking at what was left of the school, the father remembered a promise he made to his son, “No matter what, I’ll always be there for you.”  Tears began to fill his eyes.  It looked hopeless that his son could have survived, but he couldn’t stop thinking about that promise.

So, remembering that his son’s classroom was in the back right corner of the building, the father rushed there and started digging through the rubble.  Other grieving parents arrived and would look on as this father dug furiously.  The other parents who had lost hope tried to pull this father off what was left of the school but the father kept asking, “Are you going to help me now?”  One by one, though, the grieving parents gave up hope and walked away saying, “it’s too late!” “They’re all dead.” “There’s nothing that can be done.” “Go home!”  The father didn’t go home; he continued to dig for his son stone by stone.

He needed to know for himself, “is my boy alive, or is he dead?”  This man dug for eight hours, and then twelve, and then twenty-four and then thirty-six.  Finally, in the thirty-eighth hour, as he pulled back a boulder, he heard his son’s voice.  The father, filled with hope, screamed his son’s name and a voice answered back, “DAD?  Dad, I’m here.”  Then the boy added these priceless words, “I told the other kids not to worry.  I told them that if you were alive, you’d save me and when you saved me, they’d be saved too.  You promised, dad.  No matter what, you said, ‘I’ll always be there for you!’ And you’re here dad.  You kept your promise!”

This story is a powerful reminder of God’s love for us!  God loved us so much, that even though He could have saved His own Son, He chose not to so He could save us!

As you continue to invest in your kids, remember that your primary role isn’t to keep your promises, but to point them to the perfect promises of our God.


– John