I have a Heavenly Father who is perfect in every way. For that, I am grateful.
I also have an earthly father for whom I am profoundly thankful. This week I’ve been thinking about some of the ways my dad reflects the Father Heart of God toward me.
My dad is strong.
Although when I was a girl I may have believed otherwise, my dad isn’t omnipotent like God is. However, Dad is big and strong, even at age 82. When I was little he would hug me so hard that it would almost hurt. I knew those powerful arms and hands could keep me safe. Dad worked construction all his working life and I think it kept him physically solid to this day. I still feel very protected around my dad.
He wants what’s best for me.
This isn’t always a given for some children. Many parents selfishly want what’s best for themselves and their kids come second. This has never been true of my dad. During my teenage years especially, I stupidly thought Dad was too strict or too old-fashioned or wanted to stifle my fun. But, eventually I realized that I was wrong and Dad was right. He just wanted my best.
He helps me.
I can’t remember a time when Dad wasn’t there to help me when I needed it. In fact, my dad is a big helper of people in general. If I were to list all the ways Dad has made himself available to my siblings and me, it would make a long blog post, indeed!
He is generous.
Dad would rather give to his kids then keep things for himself. He is generous with his time, his money, his energy and his love. Together with Mom, Dad has helped us purchase Christmas presents, Christmas trees, airline tickets, furniture, home appliances, car repairs, cars, school clothes for our kids, and more. He bought each of the grand-kids savings bonds every Christmas and birthday until they turned 18 and paid to put braces on their teeth. He has said many times that he is generous with us in hopes that we would be generous with our kids and grand-kids. What an example of generosity he is!
He is trustworthy.
Dad says a man is only as good as his word. Yes, he is that kind of guy. When Dad makes a promise, you can count on him to keep it.
My Dad loves me.
This is the blessing that trumps all the others. Looking back over my life, I have never doubted this one constant. This I know, my dad loves me no matter what.
As I was thinking about my dad this week, I remembered something that I haven’t thought about for a long time. When I was 8 or 9 years old, Dad and I drove to the drug store to pick up a prescription for me. I don’t remember exactly why he didn’t just leave me at home with Mom, but the thing that stands out in my memory is this:
I was lying sick and feverish in the back seat of the car. I didn’t feel well at all. When we arrived, Dad scooped me up and carried me into the store and held me the whole time while we waited for my medicine. It was his gentle strength I remember that day most of all. It is his gentle strength I appreciate now more than ever.
I am thankful for the many ways my Dad mirrors the Father Heart of God.
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; He shall gather the lambs in His arms, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
I love you, Dad, more than you will ever know.
By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel