Father’s Day is for honoring dads, and for celebrating fatherhood and the influence that fathers have on society. It is also a day that can bring up painful memories of abuse, or abandonment, or absence due to the wrong priorities. In this day and age, most people have not experienced a father like these pictured in Norman Rockwell’s iconic illustrations of fathers at their best. Truth be told, when he did these in the early 19th century, many people probably did not have these Paragons of Fatherhood either.
I grew up a product of divorce from the age of 5. When I was 12, we moved 3 hours away from my dad which severed any connection I had, and lasted for most of my adult life. My father was a hard man, who was an alcoholic and far, far from God. Two decades later, I called my him to reconnect and restore our relationship. After years of heavy drinking, several strokes and heart attacks, my father was given 3 – 6 months to live. I spent several months talking with him about my relationship with Jesus and how God had changed my life.
On Saturday, August 13, 2011, I had the honor to partner with God, as I lead my Dad in a prayer when he accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior! I cannot express how incredible it was, not only that he made that eternal decision, but to be a part of God pouring out His mercy and grace was truly amazing!!
God is faithful!
Throughout my life I have had many different feelings about my Dad, from love to hatred to anger to pity. Growing up without a father was difficult to bear, but when I accepted Jesus, everything changed. My understanding of who God was completely changed. He was not an all-powerful, disconnected killjoy, but a loving. compassionate father who cares for me far greater than any earthly father could ever. Psalm 68:5 (NLT) says,
I may not have had a dad to read to me a story, or help me swing a baseball bat, or go to church with, but I have a Heavenly Father who healed all my wounds and made me whole. My identity is in God and God alone. No matter what has happened to you, always remember you are never fatherless. God loves you and He is just waiting for you to reach out to Him!