If God had a refrigerator

Bill and Elinor Henning on their wedding day- February 5, 1949

“If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.  If he had a wallet, your photo would be in it. . . . Whenever you want to talk, he’ll listen.  He can live anywhere in the universe, and he chose your heart.”- Max Lucado

“For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; . . . Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.”- Psalm 31:3 and 5

On February 5, 1949, the temperature in Chicago, Illinois, reached a chilly twenty-eight degrees.  Three inches of snow covered the ground.  For my parents, Bill and Elinor Henning, the snow and cold were incidental to the marital vows of love and faithfulness they pledged to each other in the presence of God, family, and friends.

Throughout more than fifty-five years of marriage and four years as a widower, Dad kept one constant remembrance of his beloved Elinor in his wallet- a wedding photograph of his beautiful bride.  Perhaps it kept in the forefront his  responsibilities to the family God had entrusted to Dad’s earthly care as well as his faithfulness to gladly carry out those duties.

Dad deliberately chose to spend his off-work hours with Mom and me because he viewed us through the eyes of a loving husband and father.  John Ortberg writes in God is Closer Than You Think that God wants to be with us each and every day:

“I am a child on God’s screen saver.  And so are you.  The tiniest details of our lives never grow old to him.  God himself is filled with wonder at our faltering steps and stammering words- not because we do them better than anyone else, but because he views them through the eyes of a loving Father.”

The central and most frequent promise of the Bible is “I will be with you.”   The Lord’s arm is not too short (Numbers 11:23).  When Jesus is in your heart, you are freed from living a life of troubled anxiety.  Theophan the Recluse, an ancient sage, described the heart as the Lord’s reception room.  May we have the childlike confidence and faith of this five-year-old girl:

“I know Jesus lives in my heart, because when I put my hand on my chest I can feel him walking around in there.”


About the author

Dave Henning


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