In Praise of the Good Good Father

Father's Day.

This can be a most difficult Sunday, can't it.

The father / child relationship is often fraught with complexities and unresolved misunderstandings.  Unprocessed emotions and severe losses from decades ago cast shadows that hover in the background of our minds.  Regrets linger long and too easily take up permanent residence in our wounded, scarred identities.

For those who were left feeling like they were either too much ... or never enough, it's a holiday that unearths a harsh sadness or a dull kind of pain or twinges of unexpected anger, a grieving that never seems to completely diminish.

That's why I want us to consider our Heavenly Father today.  For unlike any earthly relationship, His fathering has always been kind and steady and tenderly powerful.  He has never changed like shifting shadows.  Even in our darkest moments, He has never abandoned His children.

Oh God, it's in the fragile seasons that You meet us strong.  It's when we feel misunderstood or broken or abandoned that we run and hide in the warm shelter of Your arms.

You're a good good Father.

You show us mercy and grace, that unmerited favor.  You don't hold our sins to our faces, You forgive and remove them from us forever.  You see our inmost intentions, whether messy or holy ... and You remind us that we're not defined by our sins, but by who we are in Jesus Christ.

You're a good good Father.  That's who You are.

You whisper that every last thing we yearn for is found in Jesus Christ alone.  You gently remind us to stop endlessly looking to others for comfort, for they are often wounded themselves and unable or unwilling to go there.  Your compassions are new and fresh every morning, our frailties are gently laid to the side.  You make us strong.

You're a good good Father.  And I'm loved by You.

Our critics are daunted, powerless to control who we are as You, the Lover of our souls, protect the very essence of our beings.  Even through sadness, disappointment, frustration, or fear, our inmost places are protected from the harmful words or callous insensitivity of others.

You're a good good Father.  And I'm loved by You.  That's who I am.

You welcome us with open arms.  You don't walk out the door and leave us alone and defenseless with all our broken messiness.  We lean hard into You, we rededicate our life's intentions to Your sacred pleasure.  We purposefully seek You for we know full well that we are weary and needy.

You're a good good Father.  You're perfect in all of Your ways to us.

It's in You that we find perfect rest for our restless souls.