My father was an amazing man. He worked hard on the railroad as a foreman, but still had time for his kids in the evening. I remember as a family of eight all of us sitting around the table after dinner and talking for sometimes an hour or longer. He supported our teams and talents, loved our mother, and loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He preached, taught, and sang, with all his heart.
I saw in my dad a glimpse of God’s love for me as His child. There were times when dad lost patience with me or had to discipline me because of my disobedience, but I never doubted his love for me. Just like God. How many times a day do I fail Him, and still He loves me. He never gives up on me. He may discipline me, but it’s always for my good—Hebrews 12:11 (doesn’t mean I have to like it!). A good Father lives 1 Corinthians 13: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Having a good father lends itself to a good childhood. No father is perfect, though. Not one can live up to the Biblical standard 100% of the time. But God can. He is not only the embodiment of love; He is love. He is goodness, kindness, and patience. He truly keeps no record of the wrong things you have done, no matter how long that list may be. He delights in you, seeks only your good, and is all truth. He always protects you, is completely trustworthy, fulfills all hope, and perseveres for all time. He will never fail you.
He loves you, precious daughter. You are:
- The apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8)
- Precious and honored in [God’s] sight (Isaiah 43:4a)
- Loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)
- Bought with a price (1 Peter 1:18, 19)
- Written on the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16)
- Created in Christ Jesus to do good works (Ephesians 2:10)
- Wonderfully made by God Himself (Psalm 139:13-16)
- Worth more than precious jewels (Proverbs 3:15)
Looking to God as your Father doesn’t mean your life will be problem-free. He tells us in John 16:33, “…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Many of the Psalms are open, painfully honest cries about troubles that are experienced in life—death, betrayal, heart-wrenching sin, war, injustice, and violence. Yet throughout the Psalms the writers, particularly King David, always come back to trusting God and believing that He will bring about relief, victory, and hope. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). He may allow you to go through painful circumstances or even just times of unhappiness, but He will never abandon you when your confidence is in Him—“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
There is a saying that if something is too good to be true, it usually is. Not so with God. If your experience with your father was bad, know that with God there is goodness and life. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, “He [God] made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” God has a perfected plan for your imperfect life. As your heavenly Father, He will guide you but will never force His will on you. Even if you choose to walk away, He will run toward you when you decide to return to Him (Luke 15:11-32).
I am now an orphan, having lost both of my biological parents. I take great comfort in John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” I know the feeling of loss, grief, and lack of faith. I know what it is to pray for healing and not realize it here on earth. But I still find great comfort in my Heavenly Father, knowing that because He sent His only Son to die for my sins, and yours, and that my parents chose to put their faith in that sacrifice, that they are now in Heaven. I know I will be reunited with them for all eternity. I can’t imagine trying to cope with the grief without that certainty in my life.
This Father’s Day, focus on your Heavenly Father as well as your biological father. Even if you don’t know your biological dad or if he is no longer with you, take time to get to know God and appreciate His fatherly love for you. Psalm 68:5 says He is, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in His holy dwelling.”
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