Father Figures

Psalm 103:13-14

“As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.”

Here we are: Fathers’ Day. A day that we often celebrate fathers. We celebrate what they’ve done for us, what they’ve given us, what they’ve taught us, what they’ve sacrificed for us. But then, what about those who have never been fathers? What about those who have been fathers, but who aren’t anymore, either because their children are grown or are no longer with us? And what about those who have never had a father—or at least not a good one? Surely, there are many people out there for whom Fathers’ Day doesn’t feel even a little bit like a celebration. So what about them?

My answer? Father figures. Granted, I’ve been fortunate to have a dad who’s been around all my life. And I’m fortunate to have a husband who is a great dad to our kids. But I’ve also had several father figures during that time. And it’s interesting to think about how God has orchestrated my life and relationships in such a way as to bring these father figures at just the right time to meet a need or fill a gap. I can think of many:

  • If you’ve ever encouraged me to pursue my passions
  • If you’ve ever helped me identify my gifts
  • If you’ve ever made sure I had a job or a place to stay
  • If you’ve ever given me sound and needed advice
  • If you’ve ever surprised me with a thoughtful gesture
  • If you’ve ever loved my kids like they were your own grandkids
  • If you’ve ever called me out during a season of sin
  • If you’ve ever challenged me to love others more deeply, or to forgive

I’m sure I could think of many more, but you get the idea. So, whether you are technically a father or not, if you have done these things for someone, celebrate that today.

If you don’t have an earthly father who is present and active in your life, try to think of some people whom God has placed in your life to fill that void. I think it’s easy to fault the people in our lives for where they fall short. But really, isn’t it a lot to ask that mere humans might be able to fulfill every need that we have? If even the Creator and God of the universe bears with our weaknesses, and remembers that we are dust, maybe we could bear with others as well.

And ultimately, where all of these dusty creatures fail and fall short, God never will. He will supply all of our needs, for He cares for us.

So, whoever you are, Happy Fathers’ Day!

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