Remembering ...

Fathers, don’t frustrate your children with no-win scenarios. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. (Ephesians 6:4)

I came across this passage today and wanted to just consider the impact of a father on his children. If you are without your father this Father's Day, you are likely to recount some of the terrific times, as well as some of those moments when you were frustrated with each other. If you never knew your father, or perhaps he had less than a desirable influence in your life, there are still lessens for us as we consider the role of a father today. Most importantly, I'd like us to consider the one Father above all other fathers today and remember how well he parents each of us on this journey.

My father was a great man - I was blessed to have known such a tremendous influence in my life. He took me by the hand, teaching me skills most women don't ever get the chance to learn. I learned to drive a nail, cut wood with power tools, build an addition on a home, create landscaping out of barrenness, and the list goes on. He was the one who sat next to me as I received my RN diploma and 'pinned' that coveted RN pin on my starched white uniform. He took me fishing, allowing me to explore the woods when the fish weren't biting, and showed me how to gut and cook it when we caught one. 

Some did not have this type of an influence, but rather learned the pain of rejection, the fear of 'crossing the line', or even the sad reality of neglect and abandonment. My heart goes out to those of you who had this type of 'imperfect' influence in your life because no one deserves this type of mistreatment or neglect - absolutely no one. Even in the midst of all the pain that wayward father may have brought into your life, God has a way of binding up your old wounds, healing those badly broken places, and completely filling the emptiness of rejection with the fullness of his love. I don't know how God restores, but I have seen him do it time and time again - I am trusting him to do so for you today.

As our heavenly father, he never 'frustrates us' with those 'no-win scenarios'. I am not saying WE never get frustrated with God, because I know we do. It isn't because he sets us up to fail, though. It also isn't because he has rejected or abandoned us, because it is absolutely impossible for him to do so - it would be impossible for him to EVER 'go against' his holy character. In fact, when we are the most frustrated with him, he takes us by the hand and leads us - even when earthly fathers would have thrown in the towel. Not because we need to be drug somewhere we don't want to be, but because he knows he has great things in store for us just beyond that place of frustration we are experiencing right now.

God leads even when our earthly fathers have abandoned their duty to do so. He teaches us even when our earthly fathers don't know how to teach us or what we need to learn from an experience. He gives us direction and challenges us when our 'dads' don't have a clue how to handle our attitudes and disrespect. As we take a moment to celebrate our dads this Father's Day, let us never forget we have a heavenly Father who loves us, cares for us, invests in us, and never grows weary with our waywardness. God doesn't frustrate - he fills the empty places often left by others who have frustrated us way beyond what they ever should have. Just sayin!

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