Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All The Way My Saviour Leads Me"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 6:18 – I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. (NKJV)
On Mother's Day, we had a guest preacher in our church, and partway into her message, she mentioned that not all children have good mothers, and then she added, or good fathers either. This statement came as a kind of a shock to me, although she was right, of course. Some fathers and mothers are not good people.
I had a good father, but he wasn't what I would call a "friend" to us as some parents appear to be to their children these days. My father was born in the Netherlands in 1900. He experienced the isolation of the First World War. (The Netherlands was neutral.) As a young married man, he struggled through the depression years; after that, the Second World War occupation and the related problems; and then the immigration years. The result was that his life consisted of many years of concern and worry. He did not have a lot of time for us. Maybe that was fine with him — I don't know. He was a good provider, though, and a good father, and I'm sure that he loved us, all of us, although he never told us. But then, that generation was not very liberal with praise for their children — at least that is how I see it now.
But there is also the matter of perception. Some time ago, I had the opportunity to listen to three sisters talk about their father. Two of the sisters are 15 and 16 years older than the youngest child in this family. And during a family get-together, the young daughter told us in great detail how she used to have so much fun with their dad. On Friday evenings, when their mother was working the night shift at the local hospital, they would make popcorn and play a game of some kind, and then, they would watch the midnight movie. The two older sisters were sitting there in utter amazement. They could not believe their ears. It seemed like they were talking about two different people, and they said so. Times and people change as the years go by.
Just as we may all have different memories and different perceptions of our earthly fathers, people's perceptions of our Father in heaven are also different. Some people feel that they are close to Him, while others view Him as distant and aloof. Some feel that He is a loving and comforting Father, while others wonder how He can allow some of the worldly disasters to happen to innocent people. Those who trust God implicitly need to testify to others that God is always faithful and good, listening our prayers and giving us comfort in times of need, here and now.
Psalm 103 tells us that He forgives all our iniquities; He crowns us with loving kindness and tender mercies; He executes righteousness; He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy. As far as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy to those who love Him. The mercy of our Father in heaven is from everlasting to everlasting.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for being a Father to Whom we can bring all our problems, a Father Who listens to our concerns and Who answers our prayers. There are many times, Lord, when we feel that You have disappointed us or have not treated us fairly, and we ask for Your forgiveness, for You are good all the time. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.