The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(After finishing the writing of this, I realized how appropriate it was to write about this today, on the anniversary of our youngest daughter's birth. Happy birthday, Emmie!)
"What Is a Father?"
I really did not know what a father is until I became a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. My dad passed away when I was two, and I have little recollection of him. Thus, my Heavenly Father became my first paternal figure, albeit in different terms than an earthly patriarch.
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:7).
I have been in a learning process for nearly 47 years, discovering from Scripture and personal experience what a father - the Father - is. I am also a father, which has added much to my understanding. This leads me to often ponder the most basic question of fatherhood, namely, what is a father?
Forever will not suffice in providing full answers to the question in terms of God our Father. His infinite character, nature, and way will not allow us to ever know all He is to us in this most fundamental office and relationship. We can know some. We can know more. But we can never know all. Since this is true, I often pare down the question of God's fatherhood to the most elemental inquiry: what is the first and simplest truth of what it means to be a father, as revealed in Him?
For me, faithfulness serves as the answer. By this, I mean that when God becomes our Father through spiritually birthing us in Christ, He will always be who He is to us as the progenitor of our sonship or daughterhood. He will be faithful to His own character, nature, and purpose first. His glory and holiness require that. "I am the Lord. I change not" (Malachi 3:6). Upon this basis of perfect fidelity to His perfect nature, He will then always act toward us in our best interests (which includes the best interests of others in our lives and sphere of influence). "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31).
This will involve moments of blessedness bestowed from our Father's gracious and generous heart in a manner that brings happiness. "God… giveth us richly all things to enjoy" (I Timothy 6:17). It will also involve necessary challenges He determines or allows that bring sorrow to our hearts and tears to our eyes. "Before I was afflicted, I went astray. But now I have kept Thy Word" (Psalm 119:67). We require both administrations of God's heart and hand in this present lifetime. He will faithfully administer both, just as we would expect from a good - a perfect - Father. He will be who He is, the most important aspect of His involvement in our lives. Moreover, He will always act in accordance with our best interests, meaning we can "trust the Lord will all thine heart" (Proverbs 3:5). Faithful.
Countless other wonders of a Father's character, nature, and way await us in this day and forevermore to amaze us with glories to come. Being perfect, all grace us with light and life that enable our devotion to Him and to others. None are more important than others. In this present life, however, some seem to impact us with greater significance and power. For me, God's faithfulness most seems to form and inform my understanding of His loving fatherhood, and of beginning to answer a question for which even eternity will not allow complete understanding... "What is a Father?"
"God is faithful."
(I Corinthians 1:9)
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God."
(I John 3:1)
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights."
"Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator."
(I Peter 4:19)
Weekly Memory Verse
Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father.