We just recently celebrated Father’s Day. Some of us have wonderful memories of growing up with Dads who loved us and made a huge impact on our lives. They taught us godly values, they comforted us when life seemed to slam us, and they showed us strength during times when we felt weak.
Some have horrific memories of fathers who did unspeakable things. These people lived in fear of a man who would bring hurt and pain. They never seemed to measure up to the expectations of their father. These men demanded respect, but rarely did or said anything that would show they deserved that respect.
The Bible tells us that God is our Heavenly Father. For many of us, that idea brings feelings of love, peace, warmth, and security. For others, there is a huge disconnect. They have only one reference…that of a father who was demanding and cruel, so their conception of God is of a tyrant in Heaven ready to pounce on them the minute they do, say, or think in a manner that they feel God would be disapproving of.
For me, I have a picture in my mind of what my Heavenly Father is like. One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 4:16, in fact I have made it one of my life verses. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” In my mind I don’t see an austere throne, one that is cold and impersonal. No, I see a big overstuffed chair, and my Abba Father is sitting there with a warm smile, beckoning me to come and sit on his lap.
This image has helped me through the dark days of when my late husband, Allen, was sick and then through his death and the grieving afterwards. I always could go to Him with my pain, sorrow, despair, and any mess I couldn’t fight my way through. I would crawl up in His lap and He would wrap His loving arms around me, and say, “There, there, my daughter, everything is going to be alright. I have everything in control. You don’t have to worry, I’m here.”
What a comfort! To know that God has everything under control! There is no need for us to worry or become so entangled in the stresses and problems of our everyday lives. He knows and understands the struggles we face every day. Hebrews 4:14-15 says, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.” (NIV) That’s why we can come before Him boldly! I don’t know about you, but I see that as the attitude of a loving, caring, Father. One who, because He knows what we are going through, will always lovingly be there for us. What peace!