I just re-read the Father’s Day post I wrote this time last year while my father was dying.
A year later, the knowledge of where my father is today is God’s alone; He has not seen fit to share it with me.
But by withholding that knowledge from me, He has given the grace of hope. There were so many miracles in the final moments of my father’s life. And even though I run the risk of being wrong, I am not ashamed that I’m hopeful. I know the glory of the Gospel: no one too lost, no heart too hard.
And no matter what, I have a sure and certain promise that God has done what seems best to Him. My God is good and He is for me and He does what He pleases in Heaven and on Earth and that is a firm foundation beneath my feet.
So here’s what I think we should all do today:
1. Thank God for fathers who are flawed. My dad was a mess of a man. He had no shortage of weaknesses. And he was the perfect father for me.
If you are in Christ, than thank God today that your father is perfect for you – not just in spite of his weaknesses, but because of them. Thank God for a father who is absent or broken enough to lead you to recognize a greater need.
I have spent so many Father’s Days feeling hurt and frustrated by the fractures in my relationship with my dad. And now I would give anything to have one more Father’s Day like that; to have the luxury of irritation or angst that indicates life. Death swallows up all that and leaves you nothing but an aching absence.
Please don’t waste today. I say that with a full heart.
No matter how your father has failed you, no matter how frail and fallen he is, don’t waste today. Your forgiveness may be the only grace your dad ever tastes. Your love may be the only love he ever feels.
Our God is sovereign and good and just and knowing all that will free us up to thank Him for flawed fathers.
2. Thank God for father’s who are strong. My Facebook stream is filled today with statuses that celebrate the strengths of our fathers.
I can see my dad’s strengths more clearly now that he is gone: his thoughtfulness and passion and love of words and people. There are moments, on days like this one that I am tempted by regret. I want the chance to tell him all that I’ m feeling. My love and gratitude feel incomplete because I can’t share it with him.
But today, I still have the opportunity to thank the One who made every strength in my father that I ever enjoyed. I can worship the One who gave me every drop of grace I ever received through my dad.
3. Thank God for God. Look, I know Father’s Day sucks for a lot of us. For those of us with weird father relationships, Father’s Day can feel kind of like Valentine’s Day for singles: just another reminder of all you don’t have.
But I’m praying so hard that today is a reminder of all we do have. We have God. We may not have the shadows of earthly father’s, but we have the heavenly reality.
Honestly. I miss my dad today, which is kind of a surprise. I guess I thought after years of Father’s Days with a father more absent than I would have liked, I would be prepared for this.
I was wrong.
I want my dad.
And one truth doesn’t change another. Knowing that I am adopted by an eternal Father doesn’t change the fact that I miss my dad. Knowing God is real and loving doesn’t change the fact that I want a hug from my father.
But on the flip side – knowing that I want my dad doesn’t change the fact that God is all I need. Missing my dad doesn’t change the reality that God is the Father that all of our fathers were designed to point us toward.
I have a Father to celebrate today. I have a Father who has been led me through every moment of this life. I have a Father who will never fail or forsake.
Happy Father’s Day to the Only God, my Father and Savior and life.