He was someone’s dad.
They teased him mercilessly about his lack of fishing knowledge. They were a competitive bunch of professional fishermen and made sure he knew wasn’t any good at the sport. He laughed it off, not caring what they thought, and took his kids fishing anyway once they were big enough to hold a rod in their hands.
He stood next to the pond slowly threading worms onto their hooks one at a time. While he guided their arms into the proper position to cast the rod, he explained the importance of being quiet while they waited for the fish to bite. After the bait sailed through the land and plopped in the water, they settled onto a nearby log and waited. The antsy kids whispered and laughed while their dad just shook his head and steadily held his own rod.
That was my dad.
I don’t remember if we ever caught any fish that day but I do remember my dad’s endless patience. He listened. He laughed. He let go when we valiantly fought for our independence threading our own worms.
Ok, that was my brother, not me.
My dad’s actions impacted me. When he carried me on his shoulders as a child, he taught me to share the weight of my burdens. When he showed me how to grow our own vegetables and fruit, he taught me to be successful at life. When he showed me how to prepare the food we grew, he taught me to cook for my future family.
When he listened without interrupting, I knew my words mattered. When I made a mistake, he gave me a second chance but made sure I learned from those mistakes and tried harder next time. When I wrecked our car and he still loved me, I learned nothing could stop him from loving me.
When he read his Bible and memorized verses with us, I learned God’s word should be the center of my life. When we went to church, I learned fellowship with other believers is important. When he met a church member’s need, I learned that loving others trumps everything.
He was steadfast. He loved me. He still does.
ANOTHER KIND OF FATHER
Maybe you’ve never felt the love of a dad like that because yours ran off and you’ve battled feeling abandoned your whole life. Or maybe you never felt good enough for your dad and you fight the feelings of constant rejection, just needing approval from a man, any man. Or maybe you were just invisible to your dad and he never appreciated who you were or any of your accomplishments.
If that’s true, I am so sorry. I wish someone carried you on their shoulders tossing you high into the air teaching you to trust. I wish someone listened to you teaching you that you matter and your words are important. I wish someone told you it was ok when you messed up. I wish someone taught you the importance of God’s word in your life and how life-giving its words are.
There’s a dad for you like that. I call him Abba Father. It means Daddy. And whether you had a great earthly father or not, there’s another Father who loves you to pieces. He will never leave you. Ever. Nothing you could ever do will send him packing. He’s here to stay. Steady, like a rock. He will carry the weight of your burdens for you. You’re not invisible to him–he always sees you.
He notices so much about you that he knows exactly how many hairs are on your head. Crazy, isn’t it? I mean, I don’t even know that!
He knows your name.
He says you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
He says you are more valuable than sparrows.
Do you know this Father?
He’s a good, good Father.
He even wrote you a letter called the Bible. It’s filled with words just for you, and me too! If you really want to know God, read his words. They’ll change you in a big way.
Dad, if you’re reading this, I love you. You shaped me into who I am today and I’m proud to call you Dad. I love how you keep pouring into me and Wesley and our kids. You’re the best Papa Pete to them. You’re the best example of God to me and his unfailing love. Thank you for everything you’ve sacrificed for us. We notice you and appreciate you and today, we’re singing your praises. Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Love, Your Daughter
If you’re a dad and you’re reading this, please know you’re appreciated. Billy Graham said, “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” We’re changing that today. We’re celebrating you and singing your praises today, dads. You have the choice to speak words of life or death into your families. Choose life. You have the opportunity to help them succeed at life your actions. Choose well. You sacrifice big time for your families and you’re letting them know they matter. So do you. Happy Father’s Day!
If you have an amazing dad, I hope you celebrate him in a big way this year. Notice him. Appreciate him. Sing his praises. Love him good this Father’s Day.
Others may be dreading this Father’s Day because you’re missing a dad who already left this earth, but you can still honor his memory and celebrate his legacy.
And yet others may not have a dad to celebrate at all. There is a father in heaven who deserves every bit of our love and praise. Celebrate our heavenly Father this year. Notice him. Appreciate him. Sing his praises. Love him too this Father’s Day.
Check out these verses about what God thinks about you. 🙂
Psalm 139:4, 14, 16