I never had a father.
An earthly one anyways.
So, this whole father concept was foreign to me.
Until I met God.
I mean truly, really met God.
Not superficially like so many prefer.
But, absolutely. Intimately.
Christianity is an odd place for those of us without dads. You see, we don’t know what a father is like. We don’t know of the kindness of a father giving us bread and not a stone. Matthew 7: 9-11
We don’t understand holding our hand while we cross the street, or running alongside us while we weave and squeal holding the handlebars.
Instead, we know absence.
So as a new Christian, it was hard for me to embrace a fatherly God. All the scriptures talked about this fabulous Father who takes cares of us, loves us and wants what’s best for it.
But, for me? Did that exist for me?
I guess if you have a good earthly father, knowing our God as father is easy for you. But, I can only assume.
It’s taken me years to get to this place of trust and knowing Him. I forged a relationship with Him to know Him. I didn’t expect it to be one sided. I didn’t expect God to just “show me.” I speak with Him. A lot.
The New International Version says this in the first part of James 4:8…
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
In other versions, they use such a beautiful phrase…
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”
I love the imagery of drawing closer to God. I don’t know why, but I always see two row boats on a tranquil lake. And, the drifting of the currents is drawing the two boats closer and closer together until they bump.
If you put your boat in the right place, you are bound to bump.
Drawing closer to someone takes effort. You don’t just become friends instantly. The saying–as I have heard it– is you forge a new friendship.
Have you ever looked up forge? Yeah, me either. So here ya go!
A friendship full of absolute trust takes effort. Understanding God as Father took me some effort. But, one thing I have learned.
God is, was and will always be who a father is supposed to be.
He is kind.
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” ~Psalm 145:8
He is generous.
“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” ~ Proverbs 19:17 (ESV)
“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” ~ Luke 6:38 (ESV)
He guides us on the path we should go.
“…he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” ~Psalm 23:3
He disciplines us when we need it.
Hebrews 12:4-11 says…
“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a]
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
I’m so blessed to know our God as Father. He is the only father I have ever known.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
If you are struggling this Father’s Day, please allow me to pray for you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your personal prayer requests, and know that I read every email and will pray for you — just put PRAYER REQUEST in your title line. Or, if you prefer, feel free to comment below.
Be blessed! I love y’all.