Growing up, Father’s Day was hard. My parents separated when I was 6 or 7 and I have very few memories of my dad being around. I don’t remember him ever tucking me in or reading me bedtime stories, and for the life of me I can’t remember how I ever learned to ride a bike.
I remember in public school on the Friday before Father’s Day being assigned with the task of making a craft or card for our dads. I would quietly work away knowing full well that my father was not likely ever to receive my work of art.
My intention in sharing this is not for sympathy (and hopefully not to seem pathetic). I share this because I understand how difficult Father’s day can be for so many.
I remember, after becoming a Christian, how some in the church assumed that because I didn’t have a “good” relationship with my dad that I would therefore not have a good relationship with God.
I have to admit, I never confused the two. In fact I figured out fairly quickly that my dad and God were not the same. However, I suppose calling God "Our Heavenly Father" could have been difficult, but it never for me. Jesus made a statement to Mary after His resurrection that helped me with that. He said:
"Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” (John 20:17).
From that day on, no child has ever been fatherless. Jesus bridged the gap and gave all of us an open relationship with our Father God.
As I think back, in a demonstration of love, my Heavenly Father put people in my life to reflect Him and His abundant love. For me it was an uncle who came alongside to be a father figure, and a Godly teacher and a fatherly neighbour who always asked how I was doing.
God placed people in my life to make sure I found Him. Maybe that’s true for you too. Through a real dad, a stepdad, a grandfather, or simply an obedient man.
"A father of the fatherless… is God in His holy habitation" (Psalm 68:5).
An unknown author once said:
A dad is someone who wants to catch you before you fall, but instead picks you up, brushes you off, and lets you try again.
A dad is someone who wants to keep you from making mistakes, but instead lets you find your own way, even though his heart breaks in silence when you get hurt.
A dad is someone who holds you when you cry, scolds you when you break the rules, shines with pride when you succeed, and has faith in you even when you fail.
I’ve been blessed to have had all of these—but none through just one person. I am amazed and so grateful how my Heavenly Father was there all along, speaking through and using many to mold me.
So on this Father's Day (and every Father's Day), I am grateful to God and the loving men my Heavenly Father used.
I pray you are grateful too!
Join us this Sunday as we continue our series on Samson. There will be something special for the men in our midst, so come. Be a part of the worship community. You will be glad you did!!!!