8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. 9 He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
It’s Father’s Day weekend and I miss my dad. He went to be with the Lord in December 2012 and a big part of my heart went with him. Although he didn’t say it very often, he constantly demonstrated how much he loved me. He was kind, supportive, encouraging, fun to be with, sacrificial with his time and money, and quick to forgive. He had high morals and held me accountable when I did something wrong. I can’t begin to count how many times he applied the board of education to my seat of higher learning. But after each time, I knew he did it because he loved me and wanted better things for my life.
I especially enjoyed how safe I felt when he was around because he was big and strong and very protective. Whenever I was afraid or had a nightmare, I always knew I could go to him for comfort and to feel safe again. It didn’t matter what time it was, he patiently listened to me share what scared me and assured me I was going to be okay.
Perhaps that’s why it was fairly easy for me, when I became a follower of Jesus and started studying the Bible, to see God as my Father. When I read passages like Psalm 103 it made perfect sense to me. If my earthly father was like that, certainly my Heavenly Father is like that and infinitely more so.
In a recent Zoom meeting with pastors, a question came up about how we are personally handling the stress of the pandemic, sick church members, riots, unemployment, church not meeting… Some acknowledged they were a bit stressed out and shared how they were dealing with it. I thought about it for a moment and realized that I have experienced a constant peace over the past 3 months. It has been challenging and at times exhausting, but I have known the presence of my God and Father each step of the way.
This weekend will be a double joy for me as we celebrate Father’s Day and get to resume limited in-person worship services at church. We are limited to 100 people, but I am really looking forward to seeing the masked faces of people I love so much. We will sing praises to our God and then take some time to focus on God as our Father. I am very proud of my earthly father, but I am infinitely prouder of my Heavenly Father. Because of who He is I face each day with confidence and expectation. Knowing that He is with me and will never leave me nor forsake me, that His eye is upon me, that He desires to bless me, that He has a sovereign plan for me and everyone I love, and that His grace will always be more than sufficient for me in every circumstance, causes me to enjoy the present and look forward to the future.
For the 100 who registered to come to the church campus this Sunday, I can hardly wait to see you. To those who will be watching at home, I thank my Heavenly Father for you and look forward to seeing you as soon as possible. It is my sincere desire to encourage all of you this Sunday morning as we study the Bible and learn about our Good, Good Father. May His grace and peace be yours in fullest measure!