Posted by: glorifyhim1 | June 20, 2015

Another Father’s Day

Another Father’s Day

This is another Father’s Day without my Dad. He has been gone for 24 years and I still miss him. The following devotion, written four years ago, recalls a special memory I have of my Dad. I hope it blesses you as you think about your own Dad.

A Father’s Tears

 

This month I have faced life without my Dad for twenty years. Sometimes it feels like he cannot have possibly been gone that long. At other times, it seems forever since I’ve heard his coarse laugh and saw that familiar twinkle in his eyes. Some people say that time heals all wounds, but I’ve learned that healed wounds can often still leave scars. I think such is the case when someone we truly love dies. While we learn to go on after a loved one dies and the initial wound heals, there is forever a scar that marks our loss. That scar left on our hearts can still cause tears sometimes, but what is truly amazing is that same scar can also bring smiles. It may hide a painful loss, but it preserves so many precious and beautiful memories.

 

Usually on Father’s Day I think about my scar and I remember my Daddy. I think about his easy laughter, his joking and fun-loving nature. I think about things we did together as a family and recall many favorite memories. Yet this year I was reminded of something I didn’t see a lot from Daddy. I remembered a time when I saw Daddy’s tears. I can only recall my Daddy crying a handful of times. On this particular time I was in the hospital and had just given birth to my first child, a stillborn baby girl. Daddy sat beside my bed with my husband and me, trying to make small talk, trying to encourage, but ever so often his eyes would glisten with tears which he would quickly brush away. That memory has stayed with me through the years and today my scar reminded me of my Daddy’s tears.

 

As I thought about times that I had seen both my Daddy and my husband cry, it occurred to me that Dads cry pretty much for one reason. They’re not like most of the rest of us. Think about it. I can cry over anything at just about anytime. If someone snaps too harshly at me, I can cry. If someone makes a rude gesture to me while I’m driving, I can cry. I can cry over my kids’ problems and over the things that make them cry. I can cry over a picture on television of a malnourished third-world child. I can cry over a sad movie or book. I can cry when I don’t even know why I’m crying! But not so with most Dads. From what I’ve witnessed, Dads generally cry over something that they can’t fix.

 

Dads are fixers. They fix the car, the sink, the toilet. They provide the needed money. They work out solutions to problems. They love for their kids to ask them for advice. Dads seem to be happiest when they’re fixing things. But when they can’t fix what’s wrong, when they don’t have an answer to the problem, that’s when Dads are more likely to cry – or retreat so that you don’t see them cry.

 

For whatever reason, our Dads’ tears affect us immeasurably. In my Dad’s tears I saw strength, an immeasurable love that would have done anything in the world to fix my problem – if he only could. And today as I thought about my scar and the memory of my Daddy’s tears I was reminded of my Heavenly Father.

 

He, too, loves me with an immeasurable love. “In this the love God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). What God did for me I cannot explain, but He clearly demonstrated His love through Jesus and His work on the cross. Jesus showed us the love of the Father.

 

God’s love for us resulted in scars in the hands and feet of Jesus. I wonder what God thinks as He looks upon those scars after all these years. Does He sit beside Jesus and sadly think of the pain and suffering that Jesus endured? Or does He look at Jesus’ scars and smile as He thinks of you and me and the life that we can now have because of Christ? As God watches us struggle with pain and suffering, I wonder if he cries just as Jesus wept over the death of Lazarus (see John 11:33-35). As He looks upon our fallen world and the inhumanity of man to man, I wonder if He sheds tears just as Jesus cried over Jerusalem because of their rejection of Him and the coming judgment they faced (see Luke 19:41).

 

Just like our earthly fathers, I think that our Heavenly Father cries with us and for us. Hebrews 4:15 reminds us that Jesus is our High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses. He is not untouched by our problems, but understands the struggles and temptations we face living in a fallen world. He has the scars to prove it.

 

I wonder if this is the very reason that God planned for fathers. He wants them to stand in for Him in the home, defending and protecting, fixing and solving, loving and caring – revealing the Father’s love – perhaps sometimes even through a few tears. Thank You, Father; thank you, Daddy! I remember the scars.

 

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I’ve been blessed to know quite a few amazing Dads – Granddads, uncles, other family members, as well as the Dad of my own children whom I share life with every day. My husband, too, is a “thing” fixer, an advice giver, and a problem solver. He loves not only with his heart, but also with his hands, as he consistently puts the wants and needs of others ahead of his own. And I’m seeing these same qualities emerge in our own son as about three years ago he, too, stepped into the role of fatherhood. Watching all these great Dads, even with their differing gifts and abilities, I’m a firm believer that if the Mom is the heart of the home, then the Dad is the glue that holds it all together. Yes, I definitely believe that God planned for fathers to defend, protect, fix and solve, love and care – and sometimes to just hold us and cry – to stand in His place revealing the Father’s awesome love for all His children. Take time this weekend to say thank you to the fathers in your life.

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.”

(1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

 

 

 

 

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