It's Father's Day and I'm reflecting back to a time when my situation was somewhat unique—I had a father and a dad. My situation wasn't the result of a divorce and remarriage, as often is the case today. Mine was due to the untimely death of my mother when I was 16 months old. My father was much older when I was born and for several years raised me as best he could. I am his only child.
After much prodding and encouragement by relatives, friends, etc., he reluctantly sent me to live with my Godparents – my mother's sister and her husband – alas, who became Mom and Dad.
Since I was a mere child at the time, I can't tell you what I felt for certain. I would imagine some apprehension, some excitement and maybe some regret. My father had lost his wife a few years earlier and now he made the ultimate sacrifice to give his daughter a better life than he felt he could provide.
Mom and Dad were a little younger than my father and couldn't have children. I filled their void. Dad was thrust in the role rather quickly. He was there for all the school programs, the dance recitals, orchestra concerts, he taught me to ride a bike and played ping-pong with me in the basement. He got me back and forth to school if the weather was really bad…otherwise, I walked!!! He made sure I had what I needed and was full of pride or anguish, depending on what I'd done. He, too, did the best he could.
As I grew older, I felt sorry for my father – partially because he had missed many of my childhood experiences and partially because of some circumstances beyond his control.
I can tell you that I also felt abandoned, even though in my heart I knew he made the right decision. I had extra arms to hold me and more people to love me, but it didn't seem to be enough.
I am the product of both of the most important men in my life – I'm uniquely theirs.
On this Father's Day, isn't it nice to know that Our Father is with us all the time? He made the ultimate sacrifice for us – He gave his only begotten Son so that we may have life more abundantly…sort of like my own father.
Prayer: Father, thank you for your sacrifice so that we may have a more abundant life. Thank you for walking with us – even when you're silent, we feel your presence.
Thank you for those men who are fathers and dads and for those mothers who function in that role as well.
While I am uniquely "their" child, I'm thankful to be a child of our Most High God. Your love is sufficient!
Life has a way of bringing us new and useful information when we least expect it. Actually, it's not "life" but our Lord and Savior who is so involved in His children's daily lives that "even the very hairs of our heads are all numbered." (Matthew 10:30)
I've been struggling with high blood pressure lately; and today, as I shared my situation with a very dear friend, I mentioned that when it (my blood pressure) gets really high, I am supposed to stop all activity and just sit quietly and relax. His response was so amazing that I knew it was the Lord using him to bring me a wonderful revelation.
He said, "When I get stressed and my blood pressure is up, I sit down, close my eyes and try to see Jesus sitting on the ground, talking to His disciples. Instead of dealing with today's issues, I go back to those days when He was walking the earth and imagine what it was like to be in His physical presence."
As my friend talked, I began to do exactly what he described. I closed my eyes and almost immediately I could "see" Jesus as He lovingly talked to the twelve. I could hear the love and mercy in His voice. I could see the compassion and the desire to really be our brother in His eyes. I could almost hear a small brook nearby and feel the soft breeze as it ruffled Jesus' hair.
Then it was as if He turned and looked directly at me. He seemed to be saying, "You don't have to imagine how it was 2,000 years ago. You can hear My voice and talk to me now. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul."
What a wonderful gift; what a wonderful insight. We can rest in Jesus any time. All we have to do is call on Him; draw near to Him, and He will draw near to us. "Come near to God and he will come near to you." (James 4:8)
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
- Philippians 2:5