1. I'm thankful for the gift of sobriety. A holiday that for years brought ambivalence and anxiety became a day of genuine celebration when God graciously delivered my dad from alcoholism when I was in my 20's. I was blessed to have a restored relationship with my father before he passed away. I was granted the opportunity to get to know him for who he really was, apart from alcohol. While I can never fully erase the painful memories, my first thoughts now of my father are of his kindness, compassion, and gentleness. I am especially grateful because so many stories like mine do not have a happy ending.
2. I'm thankful for the privilege of being a father. I know I've made my share of mistakes. There have been many times when I wished I could have a "do over." I've had to learn (and am still learning) what it means to be a father as I've gone along. But, despite my failures and inadequacies, I have three great kids who make me proud. They may question why I've reacted in situations that merely caused for a response, but I trust they will never question that I love them with every ounce of my being.
3. I'm thankful for the revelation that God is my Father. The Bible clearly portrays God as a father. I've known God as our Father from the time I was a kid. I've called Him Father ever since I began to pray. But it's only been recently that I've discovered Him as my Father. As I sought healing for the father wounds inflicted in childhood, yet still causing hurt in my adult life, He tenderly took me up into His lap and helped me to experience in my soul the biblical truths I knew in my head:
- That I am His beloved child.
- That He loves me with a steadfast love.
- That nothing can ever separate me from His love.
- That He will never reject me--even when it seemed my earthly father had.
- That I mean so much to Him that my name is engraved on His hand.
- That He thinks I am worth dying for.
So happy Father's Day to me. And to my two fathers in heaven.