Father’s Day is this Sunday (6.17.18), and they’ll be men attending church and having BBQ with family. They’ll get breakfast in bed and crafts made by their children. They’ll get cards and gifts and hugs and kisses. “Thank you’s!” from their wives and “Love you’s!” from kiddos.
But for some, this holiday sucks. Their dad isn’t around, abusive or emotionally absent.
There is a lot of tension around the word “father” or “dad” these days, and quite honestly, we easily think of God as some form of the father we had when we were younger. So for example, if your father was absent, then you’ll view God has uncaring and distant. For Christian dads who are striving to walk with the Lord, this is such an honor and a responsibility. But for those who did not have a healthy fatherly influence in their life, seeing God as your Father can be challenging to say the least.
Psalm 68:5 says He is “a father of the fatherless” and 1 John 3:1 says, “What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.”
There are so many verses about God being our dad, but the underlining message in all of them is this:
You have a daddy who loves you.
He is strong enough to protect you.
He is engaged enough to teach you.
He is tender enough to hug you.
He is alive enough to interact with you.
When I became a parent, God revealed himself in new ways to me that grew my understanding and love for Him. For example, one day Rylie tripped (a common occurrence) but this time I knew it wasn’t able to be brushed off with a laugh. Through her tears, she ran into my arms and refused to let go until she felt better. In that moment, the Holy Spirit gave me the picture of Jesus dying on the cross, crying out to His father in pain, knowing He was fulfilling God’s purpose but in His humanity also begging for help and comfort from His dad. Jesus is God’s son, and He could have breathed and been off the cross without a scratch on Him. But He loved humanity so deeply that He was willing to let His son suffer for the sole purpose of having a relationship with His creation. This wrecked me. I can’t imagine any of my children being in imaginable pain and choosing not to do something. Even as simple as a skinned knee, I’ll instantly embrace and comfort Rylie. My heart aches knowing how deeply loved I am by my Father that He would go through that kind of pain – physical and emotional – just to be with me.
William Wordsworth said, “to call God ‘Father,’ we cannot give Him a holier name.”
Matthew 6:30-33 is one I turn to often when I feel like God is absent in my life, it says, “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”
What I take away from this scripture is if God cares about wildflowers that no one ever sees or cares about, how much more does He care about me. And just because I may not be getting what I want when I want it, that doesn’t mean God isn’t working for me to get me something even better. Just like a father loves to spoil his kids, so will God do that for me – in HIS timing.
So on this Father’s Day, whether you have a phenomenal dad or you never knew your earthly father, I pray you find peace and love from your Heavenly Father. From your Father who saw the world and decided it needed one of you. Your father who loves you so deeply, and desperately wants a relationship with you that He gave His child so He could have that with you.
He loves you. You are not unnoticed. You are worth sticking around for. You are not forgotten. You are not “just another kid” or a mistake. You are unique. You are valuable. You are precious. You are loved. You bring Him so much joy. You are His!