I don't need a dad. I need a Father.
Wow, that was hard to type. For the past 5 years I have been trying to believe that truth. I am not in need of an earthly dad.
I am in need of a Heavenly Father.
I am reminded of this reality all year round. However, February is particularly unpleasant because during this month I am to celebrate the life of my dad on his birthday (the 1st), while also mourning his passing (the 23rd).
I naturally connect the relationship that I had with my earthly father to my Heavenly Father. Consequently, I fail to hold God to a high enough standard. God’s biblical identity is not the same as my sinful, worldly dad. When I confuse this identity, I cannot fully understand and know Him. I must know God for who He says He is, not who I think or want Him to be.
And we know that in all things
God works for the good of those
who love him, who have been
called according to his purpose.
After treasured people in our lives pass, our response is often, "If God is a loving God, why did he take the life of my ____? He surely isn't loving!" That is the lie the Enemy wants us to believe. My circumstances do not change who God is. He remains the same loving, merciful, and gracious Lord through it all!
My dad was present in my life for 20 years, and that is a blessing in today’s society. One characteristic of God that we tend to ignore in the midst of our trials is that HE IS SOVEREIGN (in complete control). The definition of faith is complete trust in something. God is the Creator of all things, including my dad. Therefore, He is absolutely sovereign over my dad’s life. The Bible shows us that we can trust the Lord all the time, in all circumstances (John 13:7).
It is common for people to say, "____ happened for a reason and everything will be okay" when a tragic event occurs. This is an attempt to justify the tragic event by inferring that it has a purpose. But is this statement believable? If you fully trust in God's promises and believe what Romans 8:28 says, tragedies would seem less tragic. What do you not trust God with?
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you
face trials [testing, temptation, tragedy, affliction] of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith produces
perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
God uses struggles for a glorifying and, ultimately, good purpose. Trials in our lives are like thunderstorms. When the storm begins, it seems scary, frustrating, inconvenient, and burdensome. However, that storm will, eventually, come to an end. Pain, suffering, and devastation is temporary. It will pass.
The purpose of suffering is NOT punishment. Because God’s wrath was released upon Jesus in his crucifixion, God would be unjust if He also punished us. Instead, suffering is a part of faith. God allows suffering to occur in order to refine us, conform us to the image of Christ, increase spiritual maturity, and draw us near to Himself. By going to the cross, Jesus paid our debt. No discipline seems pleasant in the moment, but it reaps a harvest of righteousness later, says Hebrews 12:11.
I see people on social media frequently say how good God is after something they wanted has happened…an illness healed, an addict recovered, a car fixed, or a bill paid for. These are all blessings that show God’s great grace, but they are not the only ways God shows us His goodness.
Have you ever considered that God is still good amidst the destruction and darkness in your life? HE IS! He is not good some of the time, but all of the time…in all situations and during all hardships. We need to trust His goodness even when we don't understand our circumstances. Hardships are not inherently good, but God is.
There will always be a hole in my heart from my dad's death. That hole can't be filled. God comforts and pursues me daily, which makes the hole feel a little smaller. He is relentlessly showing me that He loves me in my daily life, just as my dad did. Praise Him for that!
I praise Him even during this month of February as I acknowledge that it will be the fifth year that I have lived without my dad. He was more than I could have asked for in a dad. I’ll never stop missing you, Daddy.
“Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” Romans 8:18
See you in the Round,
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.