For many of us Father's Day does not fill us with sweet memories or happy thoughts. Often the mere mention of the word father can cause our hearts to ache. No matter what our age, each one of us has a strong desire for a father that holds us close in his heart and rejoices over the fact that we are his child. But unfortunately that is not the case for everyone. On Father's Day while every one was celebrating and praising their godly fathers, my eyes looked around the church auditorium and saw many who could not join in the festivities-those who have suffered greatly, physically and emotionally at the hand of the one whom they should be able to trust the most.
There are many things beyond my understanding and the older I get the more I realize that's OK. I don't need to understand everything and truthfully I cannot. And most importantly I can let go of my need to know! So when certain holidays begin filling my mind with "if only" thoughts, I find I am faced with two choices- either I let God be God or I can sink into the miry clay of self pity. Looking back at the past without trusting that God was there with me, sentences me to a life of regret, remorse and bitterness.
In my Sunday School class recently we talked about Tamar, King David's daughter. She was sexually assalted by her half brother Amnon. One of her first responses was to take her colorful robe, the one reserved for the King's daughters who were virgins, and tear it in two. Through no fault of her own, she could no longer wear it. Her brother Absolom told her to remain in his house and tell no one. So there she sat in ashes and ruin, locked out of life by abuse. I am sure she wondered if anyone would ever want her or if she would ever feel whole again.
Many of us can identify with Tamar's pain. Probably more than we can even imagine. But healing must begin somewhere and the starting point is at the foot of the cross. Because there is One who does want us, the precious Lord Jesus Christ. Think of it, He actually desires us to be His bride. With everlasting love, mercy, and acceptance, He takes the torn virgin's robe and replaces it with a white robe of righteousness. In that very moment He begins to redeem our loss, our pain, and takes the ashes of our life and gives us beauty. Who else but the Lover of our souls could take ashes and make it beautiful?
Not only are we a bride, but we are adopted into a Heavenly family as well. Now we have a Father who is everything and so much more than we could have ever longed for in a dad. Loving, meriful, good, kind, forgiving-the list is endless. I especially love the part that He will never leave and that none of His tenderness toward me is conditional. He truly does love me just as I am, now and forever.
And because of Jesus I am brought into this precious family, full of brothers and sisters. People I can make this journey to Heaven with, people I can put my arms around and say I understand and I care. For me that makes it all worth it. My Father is restoring the years that the locust have eaten.
Now as I look around the room, I thank the Lord for the rare opportunity to identify with such precious brothers and sisters, who like me have had painful pasts. They inspire me-they refuse to let anything hold them back from moving forward toward the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Accepting without answers is a special way of loving our Heavenly Father that not everyone has been given except those who have known this pain.
So on this Father's Day, I rejoice that I can look upward and bless His name, my eternal Heavenly father.
...forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.