Father's Day 2014 was very different for me.
First, my daughter is out of town, so I missed getting a hug from her. Second, my dad died last October, so I missed getting the chance to chat with him and share how much I appreciate him and all he taught me. Third, I was particularly struck by the wonder of knowing my heavenly Father and celebrating Him on Father's Day.
I vividly remember the day after my dad died. I was in Air Force Commissioned Officer's Training, and we were about to take the first of two written exams, which would account for about half our grade. I took a deep breath and prayed silently, "Lord, You are my only Father now." Praying those words was difficult. I had to choke back the tears, but it was also life-giving. Knowing God as my faithful, loving Father, who promises to never leave or forsake me is an amazing privilege!
My dad understood the blessing of knowing God as His Father as well. His dad died when I was in high school. He had an interesting relationship with his own father, but he maintained a deep respect and appreciation for him. Their relationship was strained at times, and not nearly as close as the friendship I shared with my father. So my dad understood the privilege of knowing God as his heavenly Father as well. He often talked about God and His goodness, and he had faith that God would always watch over him and protect him no matter the circumstances.
This Sunday I was particularly struck by the words from a teaching document known as the Heidelberg Catechism. The Heidelberg Catechism is a document we use in the Christian Reformed Church to teach the Christian faith. In the document, the Apostles' Creed is named as a summary of true Christian faith, and it is explained in question and answer format.
Question 26 states, "What do you believe when you say, 'I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth'?"
And it answers, "That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ... is my God and Father because of
Christ the Son. I trust God so much that I do not doubt he will provide whatever I
need for body and soul, and will turn to my good whatever adversity he sends upon
me in this sad world.
God is able to do this because he is almighty God
and desires to do this because he is a faithful Father."
To know that the same almighty God who created the heavens and the earth is my faithful Father brings me great comfort and enables me to celebrate Father's Day in a whole new way!
So what about you? What does Father's day mean to you? I invite you to share your thoughts as we journey together along the way ...