Friday, June 19, 2015

His Life Is Love Expressed

One year as Father’s Day was approaching, I began to observe the fathers around me. I saw them coaching Little League teams. I saw them heading off to work in order to provide for their families. I saw them helping their children and/or grandchildren with all sorts of projects. I saw them caring for their parents. I saw them having dinner with their wives. I observed them bowing their heads and giving thanks for the food they and their families were preparing to eat.
Observing fathers as they served their families and fellow citizens in various ways brought to mind the words on this plaque one of my daughters gave her dad on Father’s Day many years ago, words descriptive of him then and now.

I have no idea who wrote those words, but they certainly apply to many dads. I, for one, am very grateful for those men whose lives are “love expressed.” I pray that their children will notice their dad’s quiet sacrifice and realize how blessed they are to have (or to have had) such a wonderful dad.

I’m also aware that not all dads are as described above. But the children of dads who mistreated them and/or abandoned them can also take comfort in this great truth expressed again and again in the Bible: We have a Heavenly Father who loves us far more than even the best of earthly fathers ever could.
David certainly found that to be true in his life. Again and again, like a wonderful father, God came to his rescue. God forgave him. God gave him extraordinary opportunities and blessings. Throughout David’s life, God talked with him and listened as David talked to Him. All that (and much more) prompted David to describe God as a “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows…” (Psalm 68:5).
Jesus also often reminded His followers that God was not only His Father but theirs, as well. For example, when Jesus was teaching His followers how to pray, He taught them to address God as “Our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9).
And in Luke 12, Jesus assured His followers their Father would most surely provide for them. “Don’t worry about money and possessions! Your heavenly Father already knows your needs and will give you all you need from day to day—if you make the Kingdom of God your primary focus!”
Not only will our Heavenly Father supply all that we need for day-to-day living, but it gives Him great happiness to do so! (See Luke 12.).

How blessed we are to have such a Father!!! And if we’ve also been gifted with an earthly father whose life is “love expressed,” well that’s, as a dear friend and neighbor of ours often said, “Doubly good. Doubly good.”

© 2012 by Johnnie Ann Burgess Gaskill. Scriptures quoted are from the New Living Translation.

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