A Father’s Love
Editor’s Note: Life is often full of problems, trials and many fears. For the child of God, this should be a journey that brings us into closer and sweeter fellowship with our Heavenly Father Who loves us unconditionally and Who has promised to carry our every burden. Although I wrote this article over ten years ago, reading it again recently, reminded me of how blessed I am! Where would I be without a Heavenly Father to run to when the storms and fears of life assail? I pray you will also be encouraged to greater dependence upon Him in a world that is becoming more troubling all the time. “What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee,” Ps. 56:3.
Early this morning, I met my daughter in the upstairs hallway of our home. Although still a little sleepy, she seemed to be in a bit of a rush. After giving me a big, good morning hug, she quickly informed me that she was “in a hurry to get downstairs, to be able to spend a little time with Daddy,” before he left for the day.
At our house, it is a very common sight to see father and daughter, hugging each other when he has just arrived home from the office, or when he is getting ready to leave. Besides those times, throughout any given day, their embraces will occur for no particular reason, other than just because they love each other! The flow of tender feelings and emotions between Emily and her daddy is very real, and quite spontaneous.
As is the case with any child who has found her father consistently faithful to his children, my daughter knows her daddy loves her. If you ask her, you’ll find out that that’s one thing she never doubts- not even when she’s being disciplined!
Whenever she has broken a rule, or disobeyed and gotten into trouble for something (Yes, it does happen!), she’s usually pretty ashamed of herself, but that doesn’t make her think her daddy’s changed his feelings for her, or that he doesn’t love her anymore! (The establishment of unconditional love in the heart of every child should, in my opinion, be a serious goal of every conscientious parent.)
After all these years, her father has proved to her WHO he is, and she has learned to trust him, as a result. Consequently, she is a very secure and happy young lady. She doesn’t worry that someday, she’ll wake up in the morning and find that he’s deserted her, or that she’ll call out for him in the night, and he won’t answer. She never frets about whether she’ll have anything to eat, or whether the house will be cold because he didn’t pay the bills, etc. For years, her father has demonstrated his faithfulness to her, so even when she disappoints him, it doesn’t cause her to doubt his character. She simply trusts her daddy. Emily knows he keeps his word, and therefore, she just believes him!
As I was pondering all this recently, it seemed that the Lord used my daughter’s example to smite my own heart. (Any honest parent will tell you that sometimes, God uses our children to teach us important lessons!) In this particular instance, it seemed that my Heavenly Father was probing my heart with this question: “Why don’t you trust ME like that?”
The realization of the condition of my heart, at that point, brought me to tears. Even as I tried to make excuses for myself,
I knew that the Lord had revealed my sin. You see, the truth of the matter was, that at that particular time, I was guilty of worrying and fretting over a situation in my life that somehow I thought I had to “fix.” Actually, that problem, in and of itself, really wasn’t anything earth-shattering or huge. (I don’t know if you’re like me, but I don’t tend to worry as much about the “big stuff.” I already know I can’t change those things. It’s the “little, piddly things” that somehow I envision God needing my help to deal with!)
My sin of worry and not “casting all my care upon Him,” translated itself into unbelief and distrust of my Heavenly Father! By my actions, I was saying to Him, “You’re not big enough or dependable enough to carry this burden, God. I’ll just have to take care of this one, myself.”
How ridiculous! As her mother, I could just hear myself if Emily ever tried that tactic with her father! (“Are you sure you paid the bills this month, Daddy? I don’t know if I can believe you!” Riiight!!)
Well, I am relieved to inform you that with deep conviction upon my heart, I confessed my sin, and in that moment, I chose to “let go” of my worry and fear. (Yes, we DO have a choice to either let go or hang on to our sin.) I’m so glad I turned it over to the Lord. Since then, I have experienced much joy and forgiveness!
Just like it would grieve my dear husband if the daughter he loves so much would not trust him to take care of her, so it is with our Heavenly Father. As His child, we are bought with His blood, and He has guaranteed us a home in heaven. Yet somehow, we can’t seem to trust Him with the details of our daily lives. It really doesn’t make much sense. I honestly believe that when we become focused on ourselves, our failures, and our frailties, we will then begin to doubt God in most any area. We become defeated when all we can see is what we want, how we think something should be, etc.
In the case of our salvation, some get so hung up on whether they “did it right.” The fact is, if you have honestly and sincerely come to the Lord according to what He’s commanded in His Word, WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO? You must stop fretting and leave it in His Hands! True salvation, walking with the Lord, pleasing God- the whole Christian life- is all about trust and surrender to our Heavenly Father. It’s all about faith- just simply believing Him. None of us could ever do any of that “right,” in the power of our flesh. We must surrender our will to His, and allow His Spirit to work in our lives, molding and making us into what He wants us to be.
While I’m very thankful for the kind of dad my dear husband is to our four children, it does cause me to think that if a fallible human being can be such a good parent, how much more wonderful must our Heavenly Father be? Matthew 7:11 says, If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
How very sad, that some saints spend their entire Christian life doubting God! They never quite learn how to trust Him, or somehow muster enough faith to truly believe Him. As a result, they never see or completely understand His goodness. In that condition, they can never experience, first-hand, the rich blessings available to them in this wonderful relationship with a perfect Father. To be quite honest about it, I think it all boils down to a personal choice.
There are so many reasons why I want to trust the Lord. I have so many reasons to love Him. How could I not love Him, when He has forgiven me of all my sin? He doesn’t expect perfection of me in this life. He “remembereth that we are dust,” and even when I fail Him, time and again, He is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (Psalm 103:14; I John 1:9) How wonderful is that!? Even when my emotions fluctuate, or when I change my mind, He tells me He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. According to Psalm 37:23-24, He has promised to direct my steps in life, and even when I fall, I can never be “utterly cast down,” because He will uphold me with His Hand! Wow! What a promise!
He is my Refuge and Strength, according to Psalm 46:1. There are a lot of things about this life that could cause me to become fearful. God’s Word provides the answer for that problem, too. It says in Psalm 56:3, What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. One of my most often claimed promises is found in Isaiah 41:13: For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
I suppose the reason I love that promise so much, is because I know how weak I am, and to get anything of value done, I always need so much help! He is faithful to be there and bring comfort, even to our deepest hurts. What a precious truth is written in Psalm 68:5, where this great God tells us that He will even be a “Father to the fatherless,”
This gracious God claims ALL the saints as His own, and yet He never compares me to His other children. He doesn’t expect His “kids” to be clones of each other. That principle is evident in all of His creation. Why, He didn’t even design two snowflakes to be identical! He is a personal God Who deals with His children individually. It sure takes the pressure off, when I know I don’t have to live up to the expectations of others. He just wants me to strive to please Him. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks! Of course, He often reminds me that I will never actually please Him, unless I first exercise enough faith to simply believe Him. Hebrews 11:6 says, But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
My list of reasons could go on and one, and yet I wouldn’t even have scratched the surface. My Heavenly Father is truly worthy of my complete faith and trust, in every area of my life. What a blessing it is, to find that the more I read His Word, the more promises I discover! He is so faithful.
It is my sinful nature- my humanity- that causes me to get my eyes off of Him, and onto myself. With the wrong focus, it’s no wonder I become overwhelmed and so entangled with the problems and stresses of this life.
I’ve seen this same tendency in my daughter. I know the signs well. Emotionally upset (more often than not, she doesn’t even know why), she’ll say to me, “I just need to talk to Daddy. He’ll know what to do.” When she crawls onto his lap, or he wraps his arms around her, suddenly, the whole world seems brighter! Sometimes, that’s all a little girl needs. I’ve found that there are times big girls need that, as well.
In Romans 8:15, the Bible uses the title, “Abba,” in reference to our Heavenly Father. I have read that this sweet, endearing little word actually implies “Papa,” or “Daddy.” Sometimes, when I’m discouraged, I imagine myself crawling up into my “Daddy’s” lap. At that point, I usually can’t put into words how I’m feeling, but that doesn’t matter to Him. Even if I don’t really know what I need, it’s okay, because He knows. In those moments, I just want to feel close to Him, and I know that if I trust Him, He’ll make everything all right. In times like that, I cannot express my emotions any better than the words to this song, by Ron Hamilton:
Father, hold me safe in your arms.
Father, keep me free from all harm.
I cast my care on you,
just as a child should do,
Trusting, loving, all that you are.
Abba, Father, I trust in you.
You’re always faithful,
You’re always true.
Abba, Father, you are my song.
Though clouds are dark,
Though night is long,
I cry to you, Abba, Father.
I must remember that all He really wants is just for me to let go of everything and let Him be my Father.
Allow God’s Word to warm your heart toward Him- Proverbs 3:26; 14:26; Hebrews 10:35; I John 3:18-22; 5:14-15; Psalm 37; Deuteronomy 33:27; Matthew 6:25-34; Psalm 28:7