Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Father I Know

by Danetta Kellar

There is much I do not know about fathers. I do not know the comfort of climbing into big safe arms when I am scared. I do not know the delight of running to meet him when he comes home from a long day at work. I do not know what it is like to have him protect me from danger. I do not know the confidence of a girl who is loved and beautiful because her Daddy says it is so.

Growing up not knowing my father, I missed so much. 

But this is not a pity party. Not a mournful dirge narrating what I did not experience growing up and blaming my life's problems on the past. 

No, on this Father’s Day, I am celebrating an immeasurable gift only found in the darkest of places. I celebrate the Father I know.

The great, priceless gem that I have mined from the darkness of abandonment is the treasure of knowing my Father God. 

It is He who has shaped my father image, it is He who has become Real to me in a way perhaps no earthly father ever could. Though it was never God’s plan for my life, the absence of my earthly father left a gaping void that would later be filled with the very real presence of my Father God.

When I was a little girl, frightened and hurting, He came to me one snowy Christmas evening through the gift of a Bible my great-grandmother gave me. 

In Genesis, I learned that I was made to look just like Him. In the book of Exodus, I learned that He would fight for me. In the book of Judges, I read about Deborah, and learned that girls could be strong and brave, and live boldly for Him. In the Psalms, I learned to hide in His strong arms. He taught me that I was beautiful because of His love for me. In Zechariah, I heard Him singing over me.

In the book of Luke, I learned that my Father runs to me with joy when I come home. In John, I realized that when my earthly father had failed me, God was on the cross, saying, Father, forgive him

I learned in Romans that nothing could ever separate me from my Father God’s love, and Acts taught me to lean on the Helper He sent to always be with me in everything I faced. 

I learned all of this, and so much more, about my Father.

I came to know my Father God in all His strength and love, in the very place of vacancy left by my earthly father’s absence. 

I am not abandoned, unloved, after all. I am confident, certain of His constancy in my life. He has never left me, and He never will.

I still have moments when I wish for a real lap to climb into. I wish for human father eyes to look at me and tell me that I am approved, I am good, I am loved. At those times I pull away with my Father God and pour out my heart. And I am overwhelmed by His love for me.

One day, I will sit in his real lap. I will look into His eyes. 

But for now, I walk with Him each day, and talk to Him. He never gets tired of listening.

Happy Father's Day to all the fatherless, abandoned ones, to the ones who have not known an earthly father’s protective love. You are not alone, after all. May you know the treasure of God’s heart for you this Father’s Day.

Dear Father, I pray for the fatherless, the hurting ones, today. Show them your heart, who you really created a father to be. Walk through the walls they have put up to protect themselves and sing over them songs of tender love and acceptance. Listen to them and heal their wounds. Amen.

How has God filled your vacant spaces? Share with me!


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