On Father’s Day, I often wonder about those children who have never known or experienced the love of a father. I am sure for them the day is either painful or meaningless. I know how grateful I am for a loving dad who provided for his family and expressed his love in multiple ways.
We are all aware that earthly fathers are human; they make their mistakes and have their shortcomings. That, however, does not ease the pain for those who have never known the love of a father, or even worse, have experienced abuse at their hand.
So as many of us celebrate Father’s Day, I want to assure those who do not have a dad, or who have recently lost a dad, that your heavenly Father knows how you feel today. He shares your heartache and He empathizes with you in your pain. I love what 1 Corinthians 13 says about love.
1. Love “always protects” – God’s love will nurture you through your times of despair and loneliness, and shield you in the midst of your pain.
2. Love “always perseveres” – even if you fail or let God down, His love keeps persevering with you.
3. “Love never fails” – Your earthly dad may have failed you, disappointed you, neglected you or abused you. Perhaps worse than all of that, you have no idea who your earthly father is. Be assured of the love of your heavenly Father. He knows you, loves you, cares for you, will protect you and will never, ever give up on you. Let me share a little story with you.
When we lived in South Africa, and our children were very young, my husband Paul, served as a chaplain in the military. This meant we did not see him for months at a time. One day he phoned me, with sheer delight in his voice he said; “We are allowed to have guests come and visit us… you can come next week!” I was thrilled, to say the least. But, then he said; “We have been informed that when we see our families, we have to salute them, there can be no display of affection.” I thought it was absurd to have my husband salute me, when all I wanted was a hug.
The long awaited day finally arrived. I told our little girl Anna that her daddy wouldn’t be able to hug her, but that didn’t mean that he wasn’t happy to see her. How else do you explain such a ludicrous rule to a two year old? We arrived at the army barracks and made our way to where we would be meeting our loved ones. Anna was gripping my hand tightly as we walked along. Jay, who was only six months old at the time, was sitting on my hip oblivious to what was happening. Suddenly, Anna caught a glimpse of her daddy. She didn’t say a word; she simply let go of my hand and started to run. With her strawberry blonde hair blowing in the wind, she ran out ahead of me. When she reached her daddy she threw herself into his arms with absolute abandon. She didn’t understand military protocol, all she understood was the love of a daddy. And she needed him! That day will live with us forever as our little girl abandoned herself to her daddy’s love! Fortunately, the senior military officers were very understanding of a little girls need for her daddy.
Today I commend you to the love of your heavenly Father. Abandon yourself to His love, He will enfold you and love you as no earthly father ever could.
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,