But at the same time, Father's Day is always a day of mixed emotions for me. I lost my dad when I was 12 and in 6th grade to cancer. It was November of 1973, almost 40 years ago and to this day, I still miss him terribly. Obviously over time it gets easier, but there are times when I am reminded of how much I truly miss him. I missed him the day I got married; I missed him when my children were born and during the years they were growing up because he would have been the most amazing "Papa". I missed him when Eisley was born because she would have just melted his heart. I miss him during lots of times. But Father's Day always makes miss him more and stirs up lots of feelings. It makes me remember all the things I loved about him, but it always stirs up feelings of sadness for the time I missed with him. It reminds me of the hole that's still in my heart. And if I'm truly honest, there is even a little bit of bitterness there. Bitterness because I didn't get enough time with him. Bitterness because there are people who have had their dad for many, many years and yet they still complain about them and take them for granted.
But it also makes me mindful of others and the situations they have or didn't have with their fathers. I'm mindful of those men who have not been able to have children for whatever reason but who would have made wonderful fathers. I'm mindful of those children, who have fathers on paper but have never had a father in their life. And it makes me grateful that I had one of those father's even if wasn't for as long as I would have liked. I am mindful of those men who have children they want to be a father to but circumstances have not made that possible. And I am especially mindful of those men who have children they have lost through death. No parent should ever outlive their children and so on Father's Day, those men hold a special place in my heart.
One thing I have learned over the years is this... I may have lost my earthly father, but I still have a heavenly father who is there to share in my joys, to listen whenever I need to talk and he walks beside me no matter what struggle is going on in or around my life. And He is there no matter what I may face in this world. And because of Him, I know I will one day see my earthly father again. Because of Him, I know that even though I am missing my dad here on earth, He is passing out hugs and kisses and being a dad to those children who have gone before their parents. He is being a papa and giving piggy back rides and horsey rides on his knee to all of those precious babies that went way too soon.
If you are missing your earthly dad, you are not alone. And I know that sometimes the sadness can be overwhelming. But there is a father who wants to be there for you. He wants to dry your tears. he wants to hold you in His embrace. Most of all He just wants to love you. And no matter what happens in life He will always be there.
So whether you are a father, a grandfather or one of their children, don't waste a moment of the time God gives you with them. There are no guarantees about tomorrow. But there is a guarantee that no matter what happens, your heavenly father will be right be your side.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.