by Nancy Kay Grace @NancyKayGrace
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. Psalm 103:13 NIV
My older brother dared me to climb the big poplar tree in our front yard. Its branches were the perfect distance apart for my little five-year-old legs to reach and climb. Once off the ground, I felt brave and accomplished. The wind rustled through the leaves around me, and I was carefree.
However, the joy of the moment did not last long. A huge bee began flying around my head. Soon several buzzed around me. My carefree attitude blew away with the breeze and I was now downright scared, screaming for help to get out of the tree.
Paralyzed with fear, I clung to the tree trunk.
My brother was no help; he went off to play with friends, abandoning me in the tree.
“You’ll be O.K.! Dad will be home from work soon,” Mom called from the porch. Her words didn’t calm me.
Long minutes passed. I cried for Daddy to come home to help me.
Relief came when my father arrived. Hearing my cries, he dashed from the car and rushed to the tree. Stepping onto the lowest branch, he coaxed me to let go of the thick limb. Slowly, shaking in fear, I put my foot onto a limb where he could pull me from the tree. I sobbed in the security in his arms.
My dad heard me and rescued me. That day he was my hero.
The Bible promises many times that when we cry out to God, he hears us. He is a loving, caring father.
The Word of God demonstrates how our heavenly Father deeply loves us and will not leave us. He has rescued us from the perils of sin and death. Even in times when God seems far off, we can remember that he is the loving Heavenly Father. Jesus taught us to pray to God as our Father.
For some people, the relationship with their father brings joy. For others, it may not be so positive. The experiences from our family of origin can affect how we view God as our heavenly Father.
Throughout my life, I did not have a particularly close relationship with my father. He was often distant, a man of few words. There were many times I longed for his support in the void of father-love. Yet, I still remember how he rescued me as a little girl in the tree.
When Dad passed away, I grieved, even though we were not close. My heavenly Father gave me peace with my relationship with Dad. For good and for bad, he is a part of me. God comforted me in my sorrow. He did not remain far off, but embraced my heavy heart with steadfast love and compassion. I awakened to realize a greater beauty of the fatherhood of God, which filled the void of earthly father-love.
If your heart needs comfort, look to God who is the perfect Father. Imagine crawling into His arms as a child needing consolation. He will reach out to you with lavish love that accepts you right where you are.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1 NIV
About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives. She has contributed to several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, as well as online and print magazine articles. She loves sharing stories of God’s faithfulness and grace. To learn more about her ministry, please visit her website at http://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for her monthly GraceNotes devotional.
Join the conversation: How has your earthly father influenced your view of your heavenly Father?