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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day, Dad

The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone—as though we had never been here.  But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him.
(Psalm 103:13-17 NLT)

My earthly father always believed in me and he showed it by his actions toward me. When I wanted to learn how to ride a bike, he encouraged me to go for it by getting out the training wheels and putting them on my sister's huge Schwinn two-wheeler. I say huge because anything bigger than 5 inch wheels on a tricycle was "HUGE" to me in those days! When I wanted to earn a little money like my older siblings were doing, he helped me pick the fruit from the citrus trees in our yard, pile it high into the wheelbarrow, and then make believe he wasn't watching me like a hawk from two doors down as I stood on the street corner with my sign that it was a penny a piece! When I wanted to finish nursing school after a break up in my marriage, he gave up every other weekend to stay at home to watch the grand kids so I could work a job getting some skills I needed to "learn the trade". He knew when I needed to learn lessons the hard way, or when a hand of rescue was needed. He never took his eye off me when I was certain I was doing everything "all on my own". Indeed, he showed his love and his "backing" in my life in so many ways, probably making it easier for me to see just how much God my heavenly Father does much the same thing every day of my life.

There are times we need to know we have the "backing" of our heavenly Father - feeling his presence so closely to us that we just know we will be caught if we were to stumble even the slightest. There are other times God isn't quite as "palpable" in the moment, but we must never lose sight of the fact he still is watching over us and his strong arm is ready to deliver us at the first indication we are in need of his intervention. Sometimes God knows we have the ability to do what needs to be done - because he has seen us do it time and time again. He still stands "watch" over our actions, my friend. At other times, God knows we will want to "chicken out", overcome with fear and doubt because of the daunting size of the task ahead of us, and he has already made provision for the encouragement and little nudges we will need to put one foot in front of the other as we go into and through whatever it is we face.

It hasn't escaped God's attention or notice that our "make up" is that of dust - from dust we were formed and to dust we shall return! Dust doesn't have must "structure" unless there is a skilled hand fashioning it into something unique and "put together". Dad gave me many "skills" as I was growing up, sharing with me the things he had learned as he made his way through life. Why should I feel like God wouldn't share his "skills" with me as life's opportunities present themselves that are bigger than my present "skill set"? God the Father isn't going to abandon us with the issue at hand - he may allow us to struggle with it a little to show us where it is we need a little help - but he doesn't abandon us to solve life's issues all on our own. I think some of us don't understand this as well as we should, maybe because we didn't have a good and trusting relationship with our earthly fathers. It is possible for us to learn to trust God, though. He isn't one to shirk "responsibility", nor is he one to "abandon" us. We won't know this until we actually put a little skin into the game and begin to trust him, though. We don't allow him to show us how near to us he is and just how much care he takes to ensure our safety and provision in this lifetime. Trust isn't inherited. It is learned. It isn't in the words so much as it is in the actions. God certainly has revealed he can be trusted - we just need to observe his actions in our lives to know this. 

I cannot wish my earthly father a Happy Father's Day today because he went on to heaven many years ago. I can show him how much his influence in my life made a difference though. If you didn't have that positive influence in your earthly father, you do in your heavenly Father. We can all reveal how much HIS influence makes in our lives. Just sayin!