A teacher once said to us that in life we can be certain of two things “death and taxes.” Bereavement is one of those awful parts of life that thankfully I’ve been shielded from thus far. I’ve attended a funeral only once in my life (church member), but the sadness I felt could never compare to the turmoil of her family members. Whilst I’m fortunate to have had my father around for most of my life; the absence of a father (through death or otherwise) is a reality that many have to deal with.
“When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.” (Psalm 27:10)
“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.” (Psalm 68:5)
“Doubtless You are our Father,
Though Abraham was ignorant of us,
And Israel does not acknowledge us.
You, O Lord, are our Father;
Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name.” (Isaiah 63:16)
Even though God isn’t physically present, there must be some substance to the assertion that he can be a father. Personally, I understand that to refer to His character traits. Whilst He can’t take me on father-daughter dates, be the object of fear for future boyfriends, or walk me down the aisle. He can meet other needs, for example:
- Wisdom (James 1:5)
- Guidance (Psalm 119:133)
- Love (Jeremiah 31:3)
There are so many more qualities that I could list, but suffice to say that “no good thing will He withhold from those that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). God may not always give you what you want, but He always give you what you need. I’m not sure what you need today, but trust that your Heavenly Father will provide.
The thing I find so amazing about the notion of this parent-child relationship is that it’s so personal. He isn’t a friend or acquaintance. He’s family! With all this talk in the media about the need to be ‘present’ parents; God makes Himself available to billions of His children. At the same time. And He’s 100% present with all of us.
What do you miss about your father, or what would you have wanted in a father? Perhaps you’ve tried in the past, or are currently trying to have a personal relationship with God. Maybe He isn’t meeting the expectations that you have for Him/your relationship. Keep trying, He isn’t going anywhere.
The beauty of a parent-child relationship with God is that He will always be there; He isn’t limited by a human lifespan.
Whether your void is a result of disownment, abandonment, or death – God is able to fill that void. It may sound presumptuous from someone that hasn’t been in your shoes, but I firmly believe that the promise of Ephesians 3:20 is applicable in all situations. The presence of an earthly father notwithstanding, God is still able to treat you as His child. Therefore, no matter which category you fit into, I pray that you will find fulfilment in a personal relationship with your Heavenly Father.