A friend of mine in college had an extraordinary intimacy in prayer with her Heavenly Father. As she prayed I felt if I peeked I would see "Abba" (Daddy) God bending near. That relationship was formed through the valley of difficulty. Her earthly father was consumed by the bonds of addition to alcohol and like many additions pain is inflicted on those you love most.
She was also a gymnast at the local Y and very talented. As she competed she observed the fathers of other girls, present, supportive, loving pride as they watched their daughters compete.
One day, as she performed on the balance beam she slipped and fell, seriously injuring her knee. As she lay in pain on the mat images of other girls Daddy’s coming out and scooping up their daughters to comfort them and carry them to safety flashed through her mind. Her daddy would not be doing that. He succumbed to his addictions, paying the final price with his life.
In those moments of pain, she forged a deep abiding relationship with her Heavenly Father, her Abba Daddy. Although He would not be physically picking her up from that mat, she came to the deep realization that He would always be there to carry her through any circumstance.
It was that excruciatingly intimate relationship, woven through times of loss and pain that I heard in her voice and her conviction.
Deuteronomy 1:31 teaches us this is the character of God; to carry us when we are in need as a Father carries his children. On this Father’s Day you may be celebrating a father who has been a blessing or you may be regretting a father who was not present or was destructive in your life. Many of our children in foster care have known those experiences.
Even through a difficult journey with a father we have the Father in heaven who is always able to carry us through. He is the model for all fathers and an inspiration to the men, young men and boys around us.
For the fathers both physical and spiritual, who strive to follow the Heavenly Father, thank you!
To the young men and boys, we are prayerfully cheering you on to be like your Heavenly Father.
To those fathers who have stepped in to the life of a child experiencing estrangement from a father while in foster care, you have been called to carry this child through this desert time.
Thank you for answering the Father’s call on your life!