Fathers and our Heavenly Father

Father’s Day is celebrated to recognize the contribution of fathers to the lives of their children. This is the day we honour our fathers. I thought about my father. My father was stoic, hardworking and persevering. He looked after us well though he had difficulty walking because of a work accident. I spent time helping him to sell fruits and I cycled to bring dinner to him daily. He never complained and knew us well. My dad was much involved in our lives. “Do we allow our Heavenly Father to be involved in our lives?” We should.

If God is allowed to be involved in His children, they would be secure. We can look to God to meet our needs and transform our lives. We need to acknowledge our psychological baggage, just like the prodigal son, and be open to His transforming grace (John 1:12-13).

My dad knew each of us well as could be seen when he called us to his bedside before he passed on in 2000. Our Heavenly Father knows us too. When we feel not respected or bullied, we can take great comfort that God our ABBA Father not only knows but loves us.

What is our Heavenly Father like?

Luke 15:20-22 “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him…” And they began to celebrate. The father’s response was intense, loving and forgiving.

Recently, I heard (from a friend) the true-life story of a young boy, Bryant, who at six, had been abused by his drunken father. Instead of being a source of strength and comfort, his father represented someone who could not be trusted, someone cold and heartless. Bryant had no friends and suffered from depression, with a pain in his heart that intensified. He hated life and people. At 13, his mum signed him up for a youth camp. To cut the long story short, he had a personal encounter with God at the camp. He saw how God loved him unconditionally and the love, kindness and patience of the leaders touched him deeply. In Christ, he is accepted and loved. He said, ‘Knowing that Christ forgives me has given me the courage to forgive my father.’

This is our God who seeks the lost and those who are suffering. He is a perfect father who embraces us warmly. Jesus portrays God as a father who is vulnerably loving (John 1:11). Like the father who welcomes the prodigal son home, we see the warm embrace of God for Bryant.

God the Father grants His children free access (Ps 68:6). He attentively cares and guides His children (1 Pet 5:7).

God the father is sensitively generous in providing for His children (Mt 7:11)

As we celebrate Father’s Day, let us also thank our Heavenly Father for who He is – His encompassing love, hesed – everlasting love, and transforming love.

Dr Vivien Ler