A Tribute To My Heavenly Father – A Father’s Day Special
24 June 2022
This article was written in June 2020 on Fathers’ Day in memory of the 50th year of my father’s passing.
My father passed away when I was barely three years old. Sadly, I have no memory of him at all. No matter how hard or often I try to recall a mental picture of him, nothing comes to my mind.
Following his death, my mother left me with my paternal grandparents and remarried. I was around five years old then. Growing up as a child, I often felt rejected and unloved. I longed for a father who would love and protect me; someone who would delight in me as his beloved child.
There was a huge emotional vacuum in me until I discovered the agape love of my heavenly Father when the Gospel was shared with me in my teens. Interestingly, God orchestrated a lady from Youth for Christ (an orphan herself) to introduce me to my Abba Father! Since then, I always draw comfort from the Scripture where God calls Himself the Father of the fatherless, such as in Psalm 68:5.
Knowing my Abba Father since my teens placed me on a very different life trajectory and made me who I am today. For this, I am eternally thankful to God!
Life throws at us a variety of luggage in different seasons; a suitcase of weariness, a sack of bitterness, a duffel bag of grief, a handbag of disappointment, a backpack of anxieties or a pouch of guilt, just to name a few. Many a times, we travel through life with our own luggage, the weight of which we sometimes cannot bear. There are times when we lugged around excess baggage in our sincere efforts to help others with theirs.
Since the day I knew my heavenly Father, the luggage of life has become easier to bear. Over the years, I have learnt to travel light by trusting my heavenly Father with the luggage (burdens) I was never intended to bear.
I hear Him saying ‘cast all your cares on me because I care for you” (1 Peter 5:7) and ‘come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). For the sake of those I love and for the sake of my joy, I learn to travel light. This means to surrender my baggage to my heavenly Father and to trust Him with the burdens. For the sake of the God I serve, there are certain weights in life I simply cannot carry. I need to lay aside every weight and run the race that is set before me (Hebrews 12:1). Till today, I am still learning to fully surrender.
God is the Father waiting patiently at the baggage claim. I thank God for my husband, Max. Whenever Max sees any of our three girls trying to drag their luggage off the conveyor belt, he will gently ask them to stand aside while he lifts them one by one off the conveyor belt. He does it ever so willingly, every time without fail. He still does so today, even though our girls are old enough to manage on their own. Such is the love of an earthly father! How much more is the love of our heavenly Father!
Other than travelling light, I am learning to trust my heavenly Father’s schedule for me. Faith in God includes faith in God’s timing. My heavenly Father will do the right thing at the right time. His help is always on time. He helps us the same way a father gives boarding passes to his family.
Whenever we travelled with our three girls, Max used to take care of every detail. When the time came to board the plane, Max stood between the child and the attendant. As each daughter passed, he placed the boarding pass in her hand, just in time to hand it to the attendant. It was always on time, never too early in case the child lost it and never too late to miss the flight. Such was a father’s timely provision for his child!
Because our girls never have to worry about anything, they can enjoy themselves. Similarly, during life's travel on earth, because we know our heavenly Father’s provision is timely, we can enjoy the present. Our heavenly Father holds our tomorrows and will give us sufficient grace to help us exactly when we need it (Hebrews 4:16).
This Fathers' Day, I wish to honour and celebrate our heavenly Father who loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). I thank my God for the privilege of having Him as my heavenly Father, made possible only by His grace! I also thank God for Max, the father of my three beloved daughters and for his gift to me of a lovely mental picture of our heavenly Father. Before this, I only had a black and white picture of my own earthly father, someone I seemingly know not.
As we celebrate Fathers' day on earth, let us also celebrate and give thanks to our heavenly Father!