Posted by: glorifyhim1 | June 20, 2010

My Daddy

Dad 3There’s just something special about a dad. It has been said that any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad. What is it about a good dad that makes a child’s eyes light up with eager anticipation when he hears his dad’s footsteps? Why does every little girl want to be her daddy’s princess or his little tomboy? Why does every little boy mimic every movement his dad makes and want to be just like him when he grows up? What is it about a dad?

I didn’t have a father or a dad when I was a little girl – I had a Daddy. My Daddy meant the world to me. I never called him anything but Daddy, until I had kids myself. Then he became PaPa. Daddy elicited much the same response from my children as he had from my sister and me. They adored PaPa and loved being around him. Although my Daddy passed away over 19 years ago, I can still remember, as a little girl, how much I loved being around him. And now, all these years later, I realize just how much I learned from him as well, lessons that he probably wasn’t even aware that he was teaching. Yet I learned much about life – and even God – by watching Daddy.

  • Daddy made Mama and us kids feel safe. I always felt safer when Daddy was around whether it was watching him wait on my sister and me as we rode a wild carnival ride, or telling us to lock up when he had to work the night shift at the local plant. Daddy protected us.
  • Daddy worked hard to take care of his family. As a kid, it seemed Daddy was always working. He was either on his job at the plant (sometimes even working double shifts), working on one of his odd jobs taking care of other people’s homes and yards, or working at home in the yard or garden. He literally worked from sun-up to sun-down.
  • Daddy had time for his family. In spite of the fact that he was always working, Daddy had a way of not making us kids feel left out or pushed aside. It was not unusual to see us pattering around with Daddy as he worked around the house. I’m sure our tireless chatter and endless questions wearied our tired Daddy even more, but he listened to us and seemingly welcomed our company. And then there were those special times when Daddy stopped what he was doing to play yard ball or catch with us, take us to a nearby swimming hole (sometimes after he had been up all night working), or even us roll around the yard in the wheelbarrow. What fun times we had with Daddy!
  • Daddy truly cared for other people. Whether it was giving away freshly-picked garden vegetables, helping a friend with some job, or visiting a sick friend in the hospital, Daddy cared for others.
  • Daddy believed in us kids. I cannot remember Daddy ever putting me down or telling me I couldn’t do something. He championed us through all kinds of activities and interests, encouraging and supporting us anyway he could.
  • Daddy loved us. His love for us wasn’t something he talked about. It was just something he did. We knew he loved us by all the things he did for us.

As I think about these lessons I’ve learned from Daddy, I realize how much they point me to my Heavenly Father, as well. Without even realizing it, Daddy had modeled much of the kind of love that God, our Father, has for us.

  • Our Heavenly Father guards and protects His children. “For the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard” (Isaiah 52:12b). “But the Lord will be a shelter for His people” (see Joel 3:16).
  • God, our Father, works on behalf of His people. “The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them. His work is honorable and glorious, and His righteousness endures forever” (Psalm 111:2-3).
  • Our Heavenly Father desires a relationship with us. He wants us to spend time with Him and talk to Him. The Scriptures tells us He cares for us and rejoices over us. “The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
  • God cares for the sick, the hungry, those who are in need. The Gospels abound with stories where Jesus reached out to help those who were less fortunate. Jesus, Himself, read the prophecy of Isaiah concerning Himself: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19). In like fashion, He taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves (see Matthew 22:39).
  • Our Heavenly Father truly loves us. He showed His love by sending His one and only Son. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Just as my earthly Daddy showed me love in ways that he could, our Heavenly Father does not make us question or doubt whether He really loves us. He showed His love to us in a real, visible way that can strengthen and encourage us daily. “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).

I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for my Daddy and for all the ways he loved and cared for me. I’m thankful that I have a better picture of God’s love because of Daddy’s selfless love that he shared with me and others. I don’t know if I ever said thank you to Daddy for all he did for me. But maybe if I try to live my life modeling the lessons he taught, I can honor his memory and my Heavenly Father as well as I live out my thanks. Thanks, Daddy!

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