What is a Father?

As I was growing up a father meant three things. First there was the invisible father who had disappeared and I couldn’t remember. This one seemed mysterious and of doubtful character. Then there was the suddenly appearing father. He was always right and quick to correct. He taught me many good things but was fearful to know until the day he also disappeared. Last came a nicer gentler father who was kind to us for a few years. He was interesting and funny however he also followed the others out our door.

Over a lifetime of looking back and remembering those men I realize that in some way each taught me something about God.

God is indeed mysterious and invisible like my real dad seemed. As a young man I was fortunate to finally meet him and we formed a friendship that lasted a lifetime.

My stepfathers both struggled as all of us do with a fatherhood that was suddenly thrust on them. From Arthur I learned the love of music though I hated everything about music lessons. People call it a gift but it is a gift that only grows in the discipline of practice. Last came Rudy the artist who caught us in our angry teenage years and still instilled in my sister and I the amazing idea that we had value beyond our performance.

Last of all came a father who I didn’t realize was pursuing me. My heavenly Father continued to call down through the pathways I ran. He never gave up in search of my heart and never turned away in spite of my sin. He is truly our Heavenly Father and the most wonderful good news is that it is His good pleasure to give us His kingdom. We cannot come by figuring him out. We can never be good enough to win him over by our abilities. We do not have strength great enough to hold on to Him. Our part is only to stop running long enough for Him to catch us on the pathway. Then He will take our hands in an eternal grip and joyfully lead us safely home to Him!

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