Psalm 68:5, ESV, David singing
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
It’s Father’s Day again. [When I first wrote this, it was my first one without my father.] For many of you, a fatherless Father’s Day has been a reality for some time now. Maybe he was never in the picture, or perhaps your loss happened along the way.
For me, it has been six months, and I’m so thankful I’m not breaking out in hives at the thought of writing this holiday column. It doesn’t mean I’m not still tender. I certainly can’t forget the amazing father God gave me. I honor him in my own private ways. My breath caught in my chest when it was time to purchase cards this year. I stood in the card aisle for quite a while just taking my new normal in. It’s moments like that one when I cry out quietly in my spirit: “Oh, God, I miss him. Give him a hug for me, Jesus!”
I lost my earthly father, but the beautiful promise of heaven is that I still have my heavenly Father, and so do you, if you choose Him for yourself.
This is a timely and also timeless message. Wars ravage, terrorists attack, senseless acts of violence prevail, human trafficking spreads.
Can you imagine if we all saw ourselves as we truly are: children of one Father?
Isn’t that a beautiful truth? Doesn’t the second half of that verse more or less fit the state of the world since the fall of Adam?
If we fully understood we all share God the Father and we are all His children—if we knew deep in our hearts what that really means, that He sent His Son as a sacrifice for us so we could be His children forever—
Would we wage acts of violence against each other?
Would we abuse each other?
Would we have such a poor value of human life?
Would we hate?
Somehow I think we would come to see each other as He sees us. Because we are not God, this side of heaven, it requires us continually coming to Him to clean our hearts and see with His purity.
Psalm 51:10, ESV, David singing
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
We are imperfect like anyone else and certainly fail at times, but this is the mission of the true Christian if we are living according to God’s Holy Word: to love the world with the peace of Christ and to introduce them to God the Father and His redemptive plan for our lives.
Maybe you had an absent or abusive father. That would make it understandably difficult to grasp this kind of love. Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about our shared, one Father in heaven (and this only scratches the surface!):
1. He does not withhold good things from His children. He blesses us in Christ with every spiritual blessing.
Ephesians 1:3, ESV, Apostle Paul writing
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…
2. He isn’t out of reach, unavailable, hidden. He reveals Himself to us through Jesus.
John 14:9-11, ESV, Apostle John narrating
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
3. He has been our Redeemer from of old. Even during a time of Israel’s rebellion and turning from Him, Isaiah speaks the truth of God and who He is. His plan of redemption for us has been since the beginning of time. He shows up. He saves.
Isaiah 63:16, ESV, Isaiah the Prophet speaking
For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.
4. He is merciful toward us and brings us hope, not despair. Peter clearly states this mercy and hope can be found through the resurrection of Christ.
1 Peter 1:3, ESV, Apostle Peter writing
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…
5. There are no other gods but God the Father. He declares this many times in the Bible. Idols, statues, man-made images aren’t real. He, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one. We don’t have to be confused or, like the Israelites, chase down other answers, never finding them. We can take Him at His word that He is God the Father, the only one.
1 Corinthians 8:4, ESV, Apostle Paul writing
Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.”
6. Legally speaking, He does not leave us without help or representation. He paid our bail! He offers us an advocate in Jesus Christ, His Son.
1 John 2:1, ESV, John the Apostle writing
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
7. He comforts us in all affliction. He does this so that we are empowered to offer that to His other children. That is part of the calling on the life of a Christian, a child of God the Father.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4, ESV, Apostle Paul writing
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
8. He gives all good things to His children; He can be trusted to remain the same always. He is the source of everything good, and He does not change.
James 1:17, ESV, James the brother of Jesus writing
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
This Father’s Day, what do you think of this list?
Can you start to wrap your head around God’s love for you?
I know it sounds too good to be true, but I’m telling you honestly that I’ve walked with His hand in mine for many decades now. I have found every one of these points to be true.
May you know the amazing love of your Father in heaven today and always!
Photo credit: Liane Metzler
*This blog was first a featured column at Your Tewksbury Today.
**It has also been shared at any link highlighted here: Mom 2 Mom Monday Link-Up, Make a Difference Mondays, Pick Your Pin Tuesday, Worshipful Wednesdays, Women With Intention Wednesdays, Grace & Truth, A Little R & R, RaRa Link-Up, Me, Coffee & Jesus, Dance With Jesus, Blessing Counters, Coffee & Conversation, Saturday Soiree, Tell His Story, Find Stability, So Much at Home, Faith-Filled Fridays, Reflect His Love and Glory Link-Up, Bonbon ‘n Coffee Linkup, and Christian Mommy Blogger.
Anecdotal stories about an everyday relationship with God can be found in Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day (includes Book Club Discussion Questions).
Theresa Kast Gilman
October 17, 2017 at 4:31 am
Every Father’s Day. Every last one. First (even after over 40 years): abandonment, woe! Then immediately, before I even get a good sad on, my heavenly Daddy reminds me that I am forever his little girl, his princess, in whom he delights. And my body relaxes from the tension of the anguished scream that never quite came out. I lean into this Daddy, and long for the day when I hope to see the father I hardly knew, but adored.
Thanks Bonnie. This was good medicine.
Bonnie Lyn Smith
October 17, 2017 at 5:40 pm
Oh how I love how you write! “My body relaxes from the tension of the anguished scream that never quite came out.” Oh man! I totally get that! Resonates with me! ❤