Thursday, June 26, 2014
I write this on the days leading up to Father’s Day. Father’s Day was first celebrated on June 19, 1910 in Spokane Washington to complement the already established Mother’s Day. The original celebration was supposed to be on June 5th to honor the birthday of William Jackson Smart, Civil War veteran, single parent to six children, father to Sonora Smart Dodd, the sponsor of the day. However, pastors wanted to write a sermon worthy of the day and begged off for two more weeks.
There is an example. Many of us feel we do well raising fewer children with two supportive parents! The model for Father’s Day seems to set the standard pretty high!
We know there are some who long for positive male role models and cannot find one who will step up and put themselves on the line. The failure of some father’s to perform their God-given duties has been one reason some have encouraged a more abstract role or title when referring to God. The idea of “father” does not always give rise to thoughts of love, support, and affection. There are those who were not as fortunate as some of us. Or even more difficult, what about those who, as they think of their father and his influence in their life, can only recall pain, abuse, and suffering.
I am a traditionalist. I hold on to the idea of God as Father. However, he is not like our earthly fathers. All fathers everywhere know they have made mistakes. They have lost their temper. They have allowed work, hobbies, and even church to drain time away from their children. They can recall times they have been too strict, and they remember times they wish they had held the reins more tightly. As fathers, we recall all those things because we are well aware of the man we wish to be, and we know we have failed to reach the goal.
Fortunately, our Heavenly Father does not falter or fail. He does not fall short in his compassion and forgiveness. He fills in the blanks where our skills are weak. If your father chose to be absent from your life growing up, you now have one who wants the rest of your life and will never leave or fail you. If you had a harsh disciplinarian as a father, know that your Heavenly Father expects much, but he gives more than he expects. Your cup overflows.
So, on this Father’s Day, take time to thank your Heavenly Father for setting the standard for your earthly father. Praise him for his never-ending mercies and his healing touch so that our hearts may be open to receive the blessed gifts he wishes to bestow upon us.