“…. a Father to the fatherless …”~Psalm 68:5 NASB
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Those words, from the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-10 KJV), are very familiar in the Christian faith. I realized at one point in reading it, however, that though my mouth was saying the words, my heart was having a hard time connecting with it.
God? My Father?
Leading up to Father’s Day one year, I had been reflecting on what fatherhood meant and how it had impacted my life. You see, unfortunately, I was abandoned by my earthly father. He was in and out of my life during my early years, and I haven’t seen him since. So, while it was easy for me to connect with God in the wonder of His holiness, His power, and His grace – during the beginning stages of my Christian walk – relating to Him as my Father was difficult because my concept of a father was skewed.
Most of my memories of my earthly father are equal to letdown and disappointment. I can recall waiting for hours for him to pick me up, only to sit on the porch and see the sun go down with no sign of him in sight. I didn’t have easy access to him, because his contact numbers were blocked and he was good at avoiding my phone calls.
It really created a deep wound in my heart. So naturally when I read passages like “… if you (earthly fathers) who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew7:11), I had a hard time grasping it. I never got any good gifts from my dad, so I couldn’t even think about what God as my Father might want to give me. I was reading the words but couldn’t believe that the message was for me.
Please be assured, this isn’t a bashing session towards my earthly father. I honestly have no hard feelings towards him and pray, if it is the Lord’s will, we could have an opportunity to connect one day. I am simply using this as an example to help you see where my disconnect was.
Over time the more I was honest with myself about the impact of what not growing up with my dad really had on me, the easier it became to allow the Holy Spirit and truth of God’s word to heal the broken places of my heart. I was blessed to experience the truth that, “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close” (Psalm 27:10). He revealed to me what a true father really is. And not just by definition, but through experiencing it in my day to day life.
A Father Protects.
A Father Loves.
A Father Disciplines.
A Father Provides.
A Father Gives Wisdom.
A Father Comforts.
Now that is what I call a good Father!
If your father is active in your life, thank God for the gift that He has given you, for it is a mere reflection of the everlasting love that God has toward His children. Or maybe your dad, like mine, abandoned you, caused you harm, or is no longer here on earth. It’s ok. Whether you have a relationship with your father or not, don’t allow the enemy to keep you from experiencing the relationship God wants you to have with Him. Remember, as His daughters we have “received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:15). We are no longer slaves but God’s own children. And since we are His children, God has made us His heir! (Galatians 4:6). Amen!
I salute all the dads that honor the call of duty. But even the greatest earthly father pales in comparison to our heavenly Father. I am so grateful for the privilege of being called a daughter of the Most High and knowing that He has been with me every step of the way.
Do you have a “Good Father?” The answer is “Yes,” because your heavenly Father is there for you.
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me even if my earthly father had issues that prevented him from doing the same. I forgive my earthly father for his shortcomings, and I ask that You bless and save him. I take You, Heavenly Daddy, as mine, and I am glad You never turn me away, never harm me, never abandon me, and are always good to me. Thank You that I can count on Your unfailing, constant, and divine love to carry me through.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Adapted from Pages From My Heart: A Devotional for Women, by Lekeisha (Ford) Maldon: Used with permission
Copyright 2021: The Good Father: Lekeisha Maldon