Father’s Day

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Psalm 68:15 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

I love my dad. 

I grew up in a Christian home. I had loving parents. My dad worked hard to provide for my mom and the five of us children. We lived simply but we always had enough. I can only recall my dad actually spanking me one time. That was pretty much all I needed. One time. I always knew I was loved. I was always secure in my parents relationship. “Divorce” was never uttered or contemplated. Am I so naive to believe that my parents didn’t have marital struggles. No. I’m sure they did. They worked them out.

My dad would occasionally play “catch” with me in our backyard on Cimarron Drive. I went to my first professional baseball game with my dad. He introduced me to the simple joys of roasted peanuts and a properly assembled polish dog. He helped me reel in my first trout.  We didn’t sit down and do Bible study; my dad lived out his relationship with the Lord everyday, in front of us as a living example. As I look back on my childhood; I have fond memories of my life and my dad. He did his best. I can’t ask for more than that. Did he make mistakes? Yes. Could I enumerate each mistake or misstep? No, I have chosen to forgive.  I have grace for him because I am a parent now and I realize it’s the most challenging task in the world. I have made many mistakes with my own children and I hope they will pass on that same grace to me as they mature. 

I know that many people did not have the upbringing that I had. “Father” has come to mean “monster”, “abuser”, “alcoholic”, “deserter”, “criminal”, “murderer”, “stealer of innocence” and the list goes on. This both saddens and angers me. It angers me when children are mistreated in any way. It saddens me because the road to emotional health is long and painful. The devastation that occurs in children’s lives when they are neglected, abandoned and abused is almost impossible to overcome. Almost. 

I have friends who have lived hard lives due to the failure of their fathers (often due to the failure of their mother’s lack of protection). They have overcome astounding odds and live productive, beautiful lives. How is this possible? They have turned to The Father.  There is hope, love, and acceptance in the Father. There is healing. There is redemption.  There is purpose. There is freedom. 

Isaiah 61:1-4 (The Voice) The Sprit of the Lord, the Eternal, is on me.  The Lord has appointed me for a special purpose.  He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to repair broken hearts, and to declare to those who are held captive and bound in prison “Be free from your imprisonment” he has sent me to announce the year of jubilee, the season of the Eternal’s favor: for our enemies it will be a day of God’s wrath; for those who mourn it will be a time of comfort. As for those who grieve, God has sent me to give them a beautiful crown in exchange for ashes; to anoint them with gladness instead of sorrow, to wrap them in victory, joy and praise instead of depression and sadness. People will call them magnificent, like towering trees standing for what is right. They stand to the glory of the Eternal who planted them. 

 

I want to proclaim to you today that the Lord is FOR you!  Although, you may have been let down, abandoned or abused by your earthly father; there is a heavenly Father waiting for you to come to Him. He loves you. He longs for relationship with you. He is a gentle, loving father who will never abuse or abandon you. You don’t have to clean your selfCome to Him. Make this a true Father’s Day. 

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