I have the best Daddy! And, no matter how old I get, he will always be my daddy! He was the one who encouraged me to sing as I was growing up. He was patient as my sisters and I all crawled onto his lap when he got home from a long day at work and allowed us to “do” his hair. I never heard him raise his voice, he loved my mother completely and was the first to give each of us girls a diamond when we turned 16. He thought it was important to be kind, take family vacations, and love God.
When I was young and fell down, he picked me up. When I was old enough to make my own decisions and screwed up, he quietly waited for me to realize it on my own and apologize. He was supportive when I made terrible choices and he always provided a home for all of us to come back to when we hit hard times. What I saw in my daddy growing up and continue to learn by his daily example is the kind of unconditional love that my heavenly Father has for me.
Because of my experiences with my earthly father, I have a pretty clear picture of the attributes of my Heavenly Father. We all carry with us multiple filters through which we perceive the world around us. Those filters were created by the experiences we had growing up. They are refined by the interactions we continue to have with the world we live in day in and day out.
Now I’m not so naive as to believe that everyone had the same example of a father growing up that I did. Some of you may never have known your father at all. Or the mental picture you get when I even say the word is only of a man that belittled, bullied or even physically abused you. The sad truth is that there are probably more fathers in the world that do not provide the tangible proof that there is a God who loves you more than himself then there are those who do. It would be impossible to expect someone with that kind of experience with a father figure to understand the loving nature of a God who created a world solely for man’s enjoyment, or that loves so completely and fiercely that He sends his angels daily to fight battles for our salvation and to keep the Devil and his minions at bay.
There is good news! God has provided a way for us to know Him, to understand His character, and to feel the unconditional love He has had for mankind since the beginning of time. We have the Bible to read about the protection He provided his children through incredibly hard times. We have His Spirit to fill us and allow us to tangibly feel His presence. And He has provided people, His people, to hold each other up. To encourage each other to keep going when it’s hard; to uplift each other when we feel left behind and stuck in our muck. And to inspire us to be the person God created us to be.
I wouldn’t be who I am today without other believers coming along side me and showing me that God has something planned for me. I may never get a Nobel Prize or become a poet laureate. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be queen or president. But I have a quiet little life that I use every day to direct others to my Heavenly Father. And if I get to heaven and even one person says to me, “I’m so glad to see you! I’m here because you showed me that there is a God who loves me unconditionally!” I believe that is what God wants from me and I’m determined to do my best.
For me, every day is Father’s Day because I choose to honor and remember all the things my Heavenly Father has done for me and continues to do for me. And I try to always remember to thank him. For loving me, for picking me up when I fall, for waiting quietly as I experience the consequences of bad choices and, most importantly for never giving up on me and giving me a voice to use for his glory!
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. – Zephaniah 3:17