Monday, June 16, 2008

Praising the Father for Fathers

Yesterday was Father's Day...and we celebrated after fellowship at a family friend's house, a combined celebration of Father's Day and my Dad's birthday which is on Wednesday. I wanted to spend a moment to thank God, my heavenly Father, for the ways He's manifested Himself through the different fathers in my life.

First, He is the ultimate Father. Abba. Daddy. More than just the disciplinarian- though He is VERY that too...He is also the one that comforts me in pain and that I feel secure with in the midst of it. He is very near. My comfort. My strength. The One who can do anything.

I've seen Him through these particular "fathers" in my own life:
1) My biological father- There is much pain and hurt represented there, but because of him, I ran to other things for a source of love, which then pointed me to my heavenly Father who has and continues to heal those hurts and uses them for His glory, my good, and the edification of His church. I am grateful for how God has chosen to use him in my life.
2) My step-dad- My Daddy, not always perfect, far from it, but used to show me the realities of a life that desires God and struggles through the flesh and gets to experience Him regardless. He probably has no idea how much Gary and I have learned because of him- only because, some of the learning wasn't "purposed."
3) My husband- My love, the Daddy to my children. He is SO wonderful, I don't even know what to say. He's not Jesus. Cannot and will never satisfy my heart. But because of our marriage, I am drawn to the One who does. He's so...mine. Perfect for me. The weird things, the annoying things, the hysterical things, the loving things- all designed to match mine and cause me to see God more. He's so patient with me, loving, teaches me much through the way he lives. He's such a wonderful daddy too. Comes home from a long day at work and doesn't retreat, but dies to self and gives of himself to me and to our girls, laughing, playing, doing work around the house. He is strong, firm, but so gentle, sensitive. Walks in truth. Stands for truth, even if alone. A sweet man with a peculiar sense of humor. He can make me laugh like no other. And cry like no other. And think like no other. I praise God for Him.
4) My father-in-law- Okay, can you say country man? Yes, this self professed "city girl" has a farmer of a father-in-law, and we get along very well. He needs a personal relationship with the Lord- regeneration- and that is what we pray. In these last couple of years, I have appreciated getting to know him more personally as we've both opened up and shared more with each other. He has definitely been used to refine me- his "I'll be there in about 5 minutes" is usually at least an hour later- but he's so friendly, funny, a hard worker, and wants to help others. He's got a lot of wisdom in the experiences of life he's been through. I am grateful to the Lord for him.

Thank you, Father, for these men whom you've used to show me glimpses of You. Thank you for the ways you choose to reveal Yourself. They are gifts. Not all are always pleasant, but each does cause me to see more of you. And that is our desire. Whatever the cost, our Treasure.