Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Loving Father


Picture this:

A young boy waits anxiously in his school chair. He tries to listen to the teacher, but he can’t help but notice the clock getting closer to 3 o’clock. He enjoys school, but he is looking forward to something extra special tonight.

His dad will begin the task of building shelves in their basement tonight, and he has asked his son to help him.

The young boy loves being with his dad and delights in the thought of being able to help him out. Sure, he’s only six, but his dad has already taught him how to hammer a nail, and he knows he will be a big help.

When he gets home, the son hugs his father and they get straight to work. The mom smiles as she hears evidence of their work from upstairs. Hammering, sawing, and giggling assures her that they are having a great time.

Within a week, the shelves are completed. There are some reminders that a six year old was involved, as there is an uneven edge here, and a crooked nail there, but with the help of his dad, they look beautiful.

Now, let me ask you a question. Do you think the dad needed the help of his six year old son?

As a fully grown adult, this father surely could have done the work on his own. In fact, it might have been a little easier for him to just do it himself. Yet, the love for his son is deep, and he wanted to include him in the process. He is filled with joy to spend time with his son and to see his son delighted in him. He didn’t need his son, but he wanted him.

Oh, what a beautiful picture of our Heavenly Father.

Surely, God does not need me. Really, it’s quite comical to think that my bumbling, stumbling self could offer assistance to a perfect God. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25). Certainly God does not have foolishness or weakness, but Paul here is making a point. Even when I do “get it right,” there is an insurmountable gap between what I can offer and what God is able to do.

And here’s the amazing part: God desires to have my “get-it-wrong-more-than-right” self as a part of His work! As His child (1 John 3:1), He desires me to participate in His will being done here on earth as it is in Heaven. He knows that I will mess up, that I’ll bend a nail in half or miss spots painting, but He loves me and wants me to be a part of what He is doing. Not because I have much to offer, but because He desires me and wants me to be delighted in Him. Just as a child is delighted in “helping” his father. And just as that father finds delight in his child.

In just over 6 months, I will board a plane for Kenya to teach in a primary school for a year. I will live amidst people who mostly have not heard of our Father’s unconditional love. What a privilege to be a part of the work that God is doing among these people to make His name known. And to think, that He has invited me to be a part of it… well, that’s just awesome!

God’s work is certainly not limited to overseas missions. His command to “Go and make disciples” is one that can be fulfilled wherever God has us. What specific mission are you joyful to be a part of with your Father? Do you know the deep love of this Father? If you don’t (or if you need to be reminded), I challenge you to find a Bible and learn about the unconditional love He offers. The Book of John can be a great place to start.

On this day especially, I am reminded of the blessing of being overwhelmed in the love of my Heavenly Father and of His desire for me to be involved in His work.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.