I have a very giving, generous father. Growing up, I’d watch my father give time, energy, and resources. He’d postpone a family dinner to fix a single mom’s garage door, or stay out late helping a guy from church get his car running again. If I overheard someone telling my parents of a need in their life, I knew that my dad would do whatever he could with his very limited financial resources to help the person. His theology was that if he gave to those in need, God would take care of his. My dad didn’t need to worry about putting food on the table because God would take care of it. It shaped my life and the way that I view generosity and trust.
Every time Father’s Day comes around, I am thankful for a strong, faithful father who loves his family and gives of himself to make sure that we are all happy. But I also recognize that this isn’t the case for many families on Father’s Day. Fathers have left, been taken too soon, abandoned their children, or been hurtful and angry. They’ve taken something rather than given. This day can be marked with bitterness, resentment and the struggle to forgive. It can bring back ugly memories that stay hidden the rest of the year. But while Father’s Day may always cause us to think of our fathers, good or bad, it can also be a chance to remember our Good Father.
As great as my dad can be, he’s not perfect. The thing he’s great at, though, is pointing his family to the Perfect Father. Although some may feel abandoned during this time of year, the truth is that God never abandons, never fails and never gives up on us. He is always faithful, always trustworthy and is a shelter through any storm. As 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” It’s such a beautiful thought that even as we ourselves experience pain, God will comfort us through all our troubles, allowing us then to be a comfort to others who feel the same way.
This Father’s Day, if you’re struggling with memories or loss or pain, reach out to those around you. Chances are that not only will you find the peace you need, you’ll be able to bring peace to others as well. Invite God into the situation and allow him to heal and speak and renew. After all “your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need” (Luke 12:30-31). He is YOUR Good Father, and he is looking out for you.