Friday, February 14, 2014

"I Am Here"

    My father died when I was 2 years old.  The only memory I have of him involves a corporal disciplinary action he administered when he found me playing with a television electrical cord (plugged in).  I'll always be grateful for that, as it confirms in heart and mind my dad's love for me.

    Since I never really knew my father, the thought often occurs to me that the first paternal parent with whom I experienced relationship was (and is) the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12).  This causes me to seek the light of Scripture regarding fatherhood, both for my own personal experience with God, and because I have myself been a father for more than three decades.

     The question occurs to me: what have I learned about fathering from the Word of God, and from His gracious parental involvement in my life?  The latter part of the question provides, for me, the primary answer.  Involvement.  Being a father means that one lovingly involves himself in the life of his children.  Having served to bring them into existence, he forever bears in heart and mind his obligation to serve in their existence.  Indeed, when I think about Biblical teaching concerning God's fatherhood, and when I ponder nearly forty years of being His child through faith in the Lord Jesus, the involved presence of God glimmers as the one truth that shines most brightly.  "But now, O LORD, Thou art our father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand" (Isaiah 64:8).

    I have no doubt that my earthly father desired to be with me and to bless me for many years.  Human frailty made that impossible.  No such weakness exists in my Heavenly Father.  He possesses both the ability and the willingness to be with His trusting children for a lifetime and an eternity.  Moreover, He engages His affection, devotion, wisdom, and purposed involvement at all times, and in all things.  Certainly, we do not see all that He does as He works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).  Just as earthly fathers act and sacrifice for their children in ways never known, our Father in Heaven far more works to be and to do for us.  This we must believe, first, because it is true, and then because such conviction must increasingly fill our hearts if we are to grow in knowing the love of God, and in responding accordingly.

    My first thought of God as Father always elicits these words in my heart, "I am here, My son."  Perhaps the loss of my earthly dad served to prepare me for such a sensibility.  I also think of another Son, who once cried out into the darkness, seeking the nearness of His Father: "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?!" (Matthew 27:46).  No answer came, thus making possible the abiding presence of God as our Father.  "We did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God" (Isaiah 53:4).  Yes, the Lord Jesus purchased for us the loving and eternal involvement of His Father and our Father by the breaking of His heart when no answer came.  Thus, an answer will always come for us as we seek the Father, through the Son.  "I am here, My son."  This I have learned - and am learning - about God as Father.  I cannot imagine a more beautiful contemplation.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
(I Peter 1:3)

Weekly Memory Verse
    "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
(II Corinthians 5:1)

No comments: