First, if Father’s Day is hard for you because you did not or do not have a loving dad, I am so sorry. My heart truly breaks for you. I would like to give you some good news, though. You have a Father in heaven Who is even better than the imaginary dad you wish you had. We have a Creator Who has invited us to be His children and has told us to call Him “Daddy.” A term that is only used informally. No dressing up, no getting our lives straight first. Like a beloved child, we can go to Him without thinking through what we should say or how we should say it. We don’t even need words! He knows our hearts, and He knows exactly what we are saying even when we can’t find the words to say it.
My heart breaks for the lost and alone because I know what it is like to have a wonderful father and to be a beloved child, and I wish everyone could have that. My mother took many pictures through the years of me sitting in my dad’s lap. I believe I was even in my twenties when she took one picture of us. He is always there for me, and even when he was working, he took time to listen. He is my example of an excellent father, but he is not perfect. So it sometimes blows my mind when I think about the offer God has given to us. It’s hard to imagine a father that is omniscient, omnipresent, and patient beyond our wildest dreams. It doesn’t matter how many times we mess up, He’ll always be there. Always with us. Not a phone call away but always right next to us. He has no ulterior motives; He just wants what is best for us because He loves us so infinitely more than we can comprehend. He even loves us all equally, so there is no need for us to compete for His attention.
When Jesus was talking to the disciples in Matthew 18, He told them, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Think of a child. When their parent offers them a present, they take it without hesitation. When their parent watches them when they are doing something they think is cool, they are on the top of the world. Utter joy in their attentive parent’s presence. Complete trust. Can we do that with God? Because He invites us to do exactly that! He invites us to accept His gift of being part of His family. He invites us to an inheritance greater than anything on earth. He invites us to come to Him even when we mess up…especially when we mess up. We don’t need to collect our thoughts, straighten our clothes, or make sure our hands are folded perfectly in our laps. He hears us when we are angry and throwing a temper tantrum. He hears us when we are crying so hard we cannot speak. He hears us when we are having so much fun that we forget to take a moment to thank Him.
Even more amazing than all of that? He loves us and stays with us even when we try to get away from Him. Even when we try to get Him to stay at church so we can visit Him there when we have time. Even when we tell Him that we’d rather do things our own way. He is still with us, waiting for us to listen to His quiet voice, waiting for us to follow Him instead of our own selfish desires. He stays with us no matter how many times we have ignored His guidance and warnings. No matter how many times we have willfully walked away from the path He tells us to follow. When we ask for forgiveness, He forgives us, and He forgets that we even did it! (Psalm 103:12) That is a perfect Father.