Today, June 21, 2015 we thank and recognize our earthly and heavenly fathers, biological or ones who have stepped in as such. Some are with us physically while others are with us in spirit. We thank them for being there for us through many hurdles or to cheer us on as we sprint with very little oxygen in our lungs through the finish line. Since I was a child, my father has been my hero, my rock and my first love. As I sit in one of my favorite hipster coffee shops, I can’t help but look back and not be filled with gratitude for the father that the Lord so blessed me with.
As our heavenly Father, God sent his only son Jesus to the cross to pay the immeasurable price of our adoption, to make us sons and daughters of the living God. He adopted us into his kingdom, adopted as his own. He loves us as we are with all of our imperfections and many failures. Jesus says that our Father in heaven is a good father who provides for our every need and shapes us into his image. He delights in us, he wants us, all of us.
“The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” Psalm 145:9
As John Piper put it so clearly, “He’s not a deadbeat, absentee, disinterested dad.” He is a loving father who with no amount of good deeds or determination to do better could bring us into the family of God. God chose to adopt us in Christ.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. 1 John 3:1
My father Glenn is one of great integrity, wisdom, compassion and strength. He is a man of his word, a man that has given me his word for 22 years. He has kept that promise by loving me unconditionally even when I have questioned his motives. He is one that does not stand for disobedience, rather has taught me to be a woman who loves deeply, endures through trial, to love enemies even though they may have wronged me, to not envy and to be a doer, a strong woman who strives to live differently.
Through triumphs and trials, my dad often unbeknownst to him has been an image of Christ. You see, a true father shows tough love; tough love that ultimately leads to truth. Jesus expressed His love at times in unconventional manners that made people angry or frustrated at Him. He told those to follow him or live separated from him. Jesus offended people with the truth.
“Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” -John 14:6
My dad has called me out when I have wronged others; but has kindly shown me what it is like to show grace. He has told me when I have made decisions that are not honoring, but has led me by example and truth. He has told me to grow up and act like a women; I look back and am filled with gratitude. We joke about it now, but as a young child he wouldn’t allow me to eat at a restaurant because I didn’t want to eat there and caused a huge scene, but I learned to appreciate and respect. (I didn’t starve, trust me)
You see a true father shows what we perceive to be tough love. The truth often hurts, but the truth helps to mold us into living as examples of our heavenly father. If we have never been offended, we have never been affected by the truth.
My father is a representation of the love that was given to me on the cross. A figure that loves deeply, shares truth often and is representative of so much as I mature and follow the path marked out for me. I am thankful more than ever for such a blessing as my father who has provided for me so abundantly for the past 22 years of my amazing life. I have never loved someone so deeply, I love you dad!
“A good father is one that of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” Billy Graham