Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

I have been wonderfully blessed with three special boys (yes, so far we specialize). I know that it is by God's grace, because I do not deserve my beautiful wife and these three gifts from heaven that we have to raise.

However, I still have some issues when Father's Day comes around. My father died of a heart attack at the age of 52; I was only 5. My mother did over and beyond what she could in my life, but there was always a void from being fatherless. Part of it manifested through being one of the youngest and smallest in my class. I don't know for sure, but I believe that I would've had more self-confidence and ability to stand up for myself if my dad had been around. I never quite fit in with my peers. High school was an awkward time for me, to be sure.

After high school I attended a Discipleship Training School through YWAM Montana . This is an intensive three month training program, emphasizing the character and ways of God, followed by a two month practical outreach. It was an amazing time that really cemented a lot of things in my walk with the Lord. Nothing compared, however, to the teaching of David Graham on the Father's heart.

He shared for a week in September about how the Father loved us so unconditionally. He described the adoption we have in Him, and how it made us sons and daughters of the King. Me, a prince of Heaven? It sounded wonderful, but it was all head knowledge. Thankfully, God has a way to move beyond our intellect.

David was speaking out of Romans 8 and Galatians 3:26 - 4:7 one day. He shared how our adoption gives us the stature of God. We take on His character and standing through this. As he described how God "sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" (Gal 4:6, NKJV) Abba is an Aramaic term that shows deep affection, like the term Daddy in modern America. This hit something deep within me, and I felt the churning of emotion and hurt inside.

David began to minister to different people in my school who were undergoing similar revelation from God on what it meant to be a child. Finally, it felt as if a fount, long blocked up by junk in my life, was released. A torrent of emotion and pain flooded out of me, washed away with divine love from my heavenly Father. No longer was I fatherless. No longer was I insignificant. I was a child of the King. So much fear, self-doubt, and insecurity was cleaned out of my life that day. I truly felt like a "new creation" at that time.

That was 9/24/91. It was my 18th birthday. It also became the first Father's day that I truly could comprehend. Now I have a Father in heaven that looks over what I do, and it is my greatest joy when I hear, "Well done, son."

My prayer for my boys is that they will understand the Father's heart for them without going through the turmoil that I did. I also pray that anyone who reads this, and doesn't know about the glorious freedom of the children of God, will also experience God as their Father.

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