Father’s Day has come and gone. I knew that it would not be like any normal day. How could it? What is normal anyway? I have come to believe that normal is over rated anyway. My Father’s Day was spent in the usual and customary Sunday: serving the Lord. That may sound corny or sad, but that’s what I did. That’s what I enjoy doing. That’s what I’m called to do: Serve. And the best part is that I like it.
In the days leading up to Father’s Day, I found myself very fleshy, self centered, and in a pool of self pity. I longed for my son’s to do something special just for me. A hand made card; breakfast in bed; or some other Hallmark moment. I began to feel sorry for myself. Sorry that I was alone. A single parent wrestling with the concept of wanting to want to be loved and in love again. A widower. Wow… That’s too much pressure, and way too much depression to put on myself. They are real thoughts and real emotions that I deal with daily, but those are not the only ones. Nor should they be the ones that I dwell upon every moment of every day. In a message a few months ago, my pastor, John Hansen (Centerpoint Church, Murrieta, CA), asked the congregation “What’s good in our lives.” He challenged us to make a list of those good things and think on those. I got a stark reminder of this as I was rallying my younger sons to head to the car for church. I saw my sister scurrying from her room to the family room where some of my sons were. She doesn’t scurry often, but when she does, she’s up to something. And to be up scurrying at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning, there was a Hallmark moment involved.
Immediately feeling guilty and hopeful for someone to have thought about me, my whole disposition changed. As a man who now struggles with the reasons and will to live and push forward without the love and encouragement of a wife behind me, sentiments like this really meant so much. The Lord sent a reminder that He cared for me and sent a love reminder in just the way I needed and in the moments that I needed them the most. So, the caper that she had cooked up was masterfully executed. My younger sons can’t even hold water normally, but they carried out their normal routine until that very moment of execution. It was then that their water burst. I was setting up for worship team rehearsal when my 3 youngest came out from back stage with a card. Evan could no longer restrain himself and I believe he tore open the envelope while simultaneaously wishing me Happy Father’s day. He opened my card and read ever word on every page with such joy and excitement. All I could do is smile, hug them all, and laugh. My two older sons were not with us for this caper, but their names were on the card none the less. That meant that care was taken to include them in the details. Evan made it a point to show me their names, and let me know that he wrote them neatly. What else could I possibly hope for, but a nap. And I got that too after I finally got home from the third service of the day. The best part is that I got the nap during the half time of the NBA finals.
God meets each one of us where we are and attends to our needs. The coolest part is that he meets those needs in a way that only we could possibly receive and understand. When Jesus returned from the dead after three days, he came to the disciples. Thomas needed to believe it was really Jesus and was able to touch his hands and side to remove all doubt (John 20:27). God is sovereign, and already has the plan for our lives worked out (Jer. 29:11). We just have to have to have faith. It is impossible to please God without it (Heb. 11:6).
Some of us have such a need for a new heart . Our current one is broken. Shattered into so many pieces because of a loss of a spouse, child, family member, job, home, etc. The list goes on and on, but God knows all of this and is working things our for our good (Rom. 8:28). He is our Father. A good, good Father. We may not think that He is with us, but without him there, that breath we just took, and that word you just read would not have been possible without Him and His presence.
Lord, thank you for this day and the opportunity to know that you are my Father. Thank You for loving me so much that no only did you give Your only son as a sacrifice or offering for me, but you continue speak to me just as I need it. Give me peace. In Jesus name, amen.
- John 20:27 (NIV) – Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
- Heb. 11:6 (NIV) – And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
- Jer. 29:11 (NLT) – For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
- Rom. 8:28 (NLT) – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.