Most would know that I had a wonderful father. He went home to be with Jesus 18 years ago, and not a day goes by that I don’t think fondly of him, or remember a lesson he taught me, or realize that I’m doing things in exactly the same way he would have done them. I miss him greatly, and each Father’s Day, I remember the great man that I was blessed to call, “Dad”.
I realize my relationship with my dad is not the norm for some. Many would have a different relationship with their earthly father—some filled with love and respect, and others filled with pain and hurt. There are times when the actions of imperfect human fathers can alter the way we respond to our Heavenly Father. Perhaps your father was not present, or you did not know him at all. Perhaps he failed in some aspect of life, or perhaps he taught you lessons that were unhealthy and damaging. Regardless of the situation involving our earthly fathers, we can rejoice in the fact that we have a Heavenly Father that loves us intimately, and longs for a relationship with us that extends beyond the limitations of this sinful world.
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, ‘Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:15, NLT
The thing about adoption is that it’s a choice. In our society today, adoption is a lengthy, expensive, and tedious process, with lots of hoops to jump through and a large legal system to navigate. For Jesus, adopting you and me meant taking all our sin and paying the ultimate price on the cross. It was an intentional choice He made to claim us as His sons and daughters. The result is that we are no longer required to live as fearful slaves, but can instead have a personal, loving relationship with our Heavenly Father. And this Father is always present, always available, and always desiring the best for us.
“For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be His own special treasure.” Deuteronomy 7:6, NLT
The Lord selected Israel as His own special treasure, and the minute we open our hearts and accept Jesus as our Lord, we are adopted into His family—and we become the Lord’s own special treasure too. We enter into an intimacy with God as our “Abba Father”—an endearing term of love, affection, and respect that is modeled through the relationship of a committed father to his child. My prayer is that this Father’s Day, each of us will enter into a new dimension of realizing God’s fatherly love toward us. No matter if we had the best dads in the world, or if our fathers were lacking, may our Heavenly Father be a very real source of love for us this day and onward, as we continue to grow in relationship with Him.