Father, the word itself invokes different images and emotions for different people. Indeed the same person could have a different response depending upon where they are in life. As a child I knew my father loved me. There were times I’m sure he thought I was weird due to my love of Star Trek and Sci-fi in general. I wasn’t an ‘outdoorsy’ kid and if I’m honest, I was lazy. As I grew into a teenager I saw him as a disciplinarian … which, in retrospect, I probably deserved. I lost my dad in my early 20’s so for sometime my father was an empty place, a phone call that would never be answered.
Fast forward 20 years, I now know that in everything he did, my father was loving me and guiding me to be the best version of me to the best of his abilities. He wasn’t especially strong or charismatic or a charmer. But he loved me. In his final days on earth he taught me what true faith was. He faced death with courage that I wish I had half of. His faith in his Heavenly Father gave him the courage to weather the storm.
Earthly fathers are mere shadows of the perfect Heavenly Father we all have. He loves you more, has more compassion, wants you to be the best version of you, and so many more things more so than our earthly fathers.
Today’s verse comes from a chapter that starts with
Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is within me
Which is my response when I think about the compassion my Heavenly Father has shown me. My life was full of sin and rebellion and yet He still loves me. He still has compassion for me and still, knowing all of the sinful things I have done and will do, went to the cross for me. To take me out of His wrath and place me in His love. Now I, like my father before me, am raising kids of my own. I try to model the love and guidance that I show my children based on the love and guidance that God shows me. I fall so short, but still I rise each morning and ask God to give more of Himself to me to make me a better dad to my daughters.
It’s incorrect to place our image of our earthly fathers and think that’s what God is like. Whether your dad was awesome or awesome at being terrible, our Heavenly Father is so much better. He is a good, good Father.